Sega of America accused of violating union bargaining rules

A complaint has been filed with the US National Labour Relations Board.
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Sega of America has been accused of violating union bargaining rules, following a mandatory layoff meeting with staff. According to a new complaint filed with the US National Labour Relations Board (NLRB), as detailed by Kotaku, Sega of America recently met directly with staff to inform them of a proposal to “phase out” temporary workers in QA and localisation departments by February 2024.

Per the Allied Employees Guild Improving Sega (AEGIS-CWA) union, this was allegedly in violation of standard labor practice, as the company elected not to bargain with the union first, where it was required to. The union believes Sega of America’s proposal would impact around 40% of its membership, or around 80 unionised employees.

“It’s disheartening to see such actions from Sega, as it unmistakably demonstrates bad faith bargaining and a refusal to recognise the valuable contributions of a significant portion of our colleagues,” Elise Willacker, senior QA tester at Sega of America, told Kotaku.

Willacker revealed an Unfair Labor Practice allegation had been filed in an effort to protect workers from incoming layoffs, and to “call out” Sega’s direct meeting with employees.

Read: Embracer Group has laid off 900 staff since June 2023 – and it’s not over yet

Per details provided by Kotaku, the Unfair Labor Practice filing will now be reviewed by the NLRB – although given the need for due process, and case backlogs, it may not be investigated in time to prevent incoming layoffs at Sega of America.

“We call on the company to make all temporary employees permanent and return to the bargaining table in good faith,” Willacker said. “There is no other just alternative.”

Should the layoffs go ahead as allegedly planned, Sega will join a long list of companies that have already initiated layoffs in 2023, including UbisoftMedia MoleculeBlizzardTeam17EACD Projekt RedRiot GamesAmazonAscendant StudiosPrivate Division, 2KVolitionFiraxisTelltale GamesCrystal DynamicsEpic GamesDigital Extremes, and Humble Games.

Leah J. Williams is a gaming and entertainment journalist who's spent years writing about the games industry, her love for The Sims 2 on Nintendo DS and every piece of weird history she knows. You can find her tweeting @legenette most days.