Australia’s first union for game workers will launch this weekend

Game Workers Unite Australia will officially relaunch as Game Workers Australia on May 1.

Volunteer pro-worker organisation Game Workers Unite Australia (GWU Australia) will officially relaunch as Game Workers Australia (GWA) on May 1, 2022, becoming the country's first union for video game workers.

That's according to a report from The Sydney Morning Herald, which suggested the move will open a fight for higher pay and better conditions throughout the Australian games industry.

Last year, GWU Australia announced plans to relaunch as an all-new division of Professionals Australia with a tiered membership package specifically designed for game workers.

Those plans were made after Professionals Australia, the union that covers IT workers, scientists, pharmacists, and more, endorsed a proposal from GWU Australia to create a new division entirely for Australian game workers, which it notes doesn't just include developers -- but also game journalists, PR and marketing staff, content creators, professional players, students, and more. 

When it launches this weekend, GWA will allow game workers in Australia to become a formal trade union member of Professionals Australia, granting them access to support, services, and solidarity that will help them in the workplace.

"We will retain our free membership tier, and continue to offer the same assistance that we currently offer to anyone in need who approaches us," explained GWA, announcing the move in December 2021.

"But with the power of Professionals Australia behind us, we’ll be able to do so much more – take legal action to defend our members against underpayments, discrimination and bullying, organise collective agreements at workplaces, and lobby governments and industry on an equal playing field with studio owners and publishers.

Speaking more recently to The Sydney Morning Herald, GWA convenor Tim Colwill said the union intends to create the industry's first enterprise agreement (in the form of a collective pay deal) and attempt to raise freelancer wages.

He also explained that membership tiers costing up to $64 per month will be available for those who want a comprehensive range of industrial support, including access to legal representation.

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