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CD Projekt workers and other Polish devs unionize under PGWU banner

The Polish Gamedev Workers Union hopes to "improve the employment conditions in the whole industry."

Chris Kerr

October 7, 2023

2 Min Read
The PGWU logo overlaid on key artwork for Cyberpunk 2077

Game developers from CD Projekt and other Polish studios have unionized through the Polish Gamedev Workers Union (PGWU).

The collective described itself as a "trade union connecting all professions and people working in the game development sector in Poland."

The union is a commission of OZZ Inicjatywa Pracownicza (OZZ IP), which is a grassroots, self-governing trade union, established by the workers of Cegielski in Poznan and local tenant movements.

PGWU began as a company commission at CD Projekt with a mandate of voicing worker concerns about the safety and conditions of employment.

"We joined forces with people from other companies to represent all Polish gamedev workers and improve the employment conditions in the whole industry," wrote PGWU. "For this to happen, we need to encourage gamedev workers to act."

PGWU members fighting for "stable, fair, diverse, and healthy" workplace

PGWU broke cover with a seven-point manifesto that explains it wants to organize and represent a wide range of developers across all disciplines and professions.

It pledged to maintain a democratic structure that allows its members to take an active part in forming policy and explained it wants to enable devs to create games in a "stable, fair, diverse, and healthy environment."

"Our mission as a union is to ensure job security, fair treatment, and transparency within our employer organizations," reads the manifesto. "We intend to achieve that by mutual support, education, and establishing equal communication with the employers as a strong voice for the workers’ interests. Our goal is not to start a fight but to have a dialogue."

PGWU is encouraging prospective members to join regardless of their employment type, and said it welcomes everyone whether they're currently unemployed, a contractor, or searching for work–as long as they're a Polish developer.

Unionization has become a hot topic in the game industry, with an increasing number of developers around the world seeking to exercise their collective bargaining power in pursuit of better working conditions.

Earlier this month, over 100 workers at Just Cause developer Avalanche Studios joined a Swedish union. Varying numbers of staff at other studios including Workinman, Sega of America, ZeniMax Studios, and multiple Activision Blizzard subsidiaries like Blizzard Albany and Raven Software have also voted to unionize in recent years.

Some of those workers have, however, been impacted by layoffs and alleged union-busting tactics. This week, game service provider Keywords laid off a group of unionized developers following the conclusion of its contract with BioWare.

Meanwhile, staff at other companies, including Sega of America and Bandcamp (which is owned by Fortnite maker Epic Games) claimed to have faced union-busting practices while seeking to organize.

About the Author(s)

Chris Kerr

News Editor, GameDeveloper.com

Game Developer news editor Chris Kerr is an award-winning journalist and reporter with over a decade of experience in the game industry. His byline has appeared in notable print and digital publications including Edge, Stuff, Wireframe, International Business Times, and PocketGamer.biz. Throughout his career, Chris has covered major industry events including GDC, PAX Australia, Gamescom, Paris Games Week, and Develop Brighton. He has featured on the judging panel at The Develop Star Awards on multiple occasions and appeared on BBC Radio 5 Live to discuss breaking news.

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