Workers at Cyberpunk 2077 developer CD Projekt Red and Just Cause creator Avalanche Studios have joined trade unions.
Against the backdrop of an ongoing wave of layoffs across the games industry, affecting companies like Epic, Creative Assembly, Team17, Naughty Dog and BioWare to name just a few, two major studios have unionised.
Staff at CD Projekt Red in Poland have formed the Polish Gamedev Workers Union (Związek Pracowników Branży Gier), which is part of the Polish Trade Union Workers Initiative (OZZ Inicjatywa Pracownicza). The new union was founded by CD Projekt employees Lev Ki and Paweł Myszka, but it aims to attract members from across the Polish games development community, with “a common goal of creating games in a stable, fair, diverse, and healthy environment”.
The Polish Gamedev Workers Union is open to a wide range of workers, including those in development, marketing and publishing. However, it is limited to workers with a Polish contract, so those at CD Projekt Red’s offices in Boston and Vancouver – where the sequel to Cyberpunk 2077 is apparently being developed – are not eligible to join.
The move comes after CD Projekt announced it would be laying off around 100 staff members in July, or roughly 9 percent of the entire team.
Meanwhile, as reported by IGN, more than 100 employees out of a total of roughly 500 at Avalanche Studios have joined Unionen, a Swedish trade union. Avalanche is the studio behind the Just Cause franchise and 2015’s Mad Max, as well as the upcoming Xbox exclusive Contraband.
IGN reports that the union is currently in negotiations with Avalanche’s management over specific benefits. An unnamed union representative from Avalanche Studios provided the following statement: “We (by which I mean the board of the local union branch) are very hopeful about the prospect of signing a collective bargaining agreement, and believe that this will be a great step towards ensuring that the thoughts, ideas, feelings, and opinions of Avalanche’s employees are given the representation that they deserve. We look forward to working together with company leadership to make the company better.”