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Sega of America layoffs will hit organized staff hard, union worked to lessen impact

"This has been a hard fight and it is devastating to say goodbye to our friends and coworkers."

Justin Carter, Contributing Editor

February 1, 2024

2 Min Read
Sonic and Shadow the Hedgehog in Sonic x Shadow: Generations.
Image via Sega.

At a Glance

  • Sega of America was prevously accused by AEGIS of trying union-busting tactics to break up its members.

The upcoming layoffs at Sega of America (SoA) are set to hit its workers union, AEGIS-CWA.

In a statement sent to Game Developer, the CWA-backed group said all 61 employees being let go in March 2024 are represented by the union. The union was formed by 144 staffers last April.

Back in November, the union accused SoA of trying to cut 40 percent of staff. The act was alleged to be a union-busting tactic, and both SoA and Sega have previously been accused of attempting to undermine unionization efforts.

AEGIS said it heard about the impending SoA layoffs months ago and bargained to mitigate the damage. Sega initially aimed to cut nearly all temp workers and give them two weeks severance.

By bargaining with Sega of America, AEGIS secured 8-14 weeks of severance for those being let go (depending on their tenure). Those talks also enabled 18 employees keep their jobs.

"Without a union, today would be a lot worse than it is"

"This has been a hard fight and it is devastating to say goodbye to our friends and coworkers," wrote AEGIS. While it was glad to "soften the blow" of layoffs, it acknowledged the event justified its existence.

"Without a union today would be a lot worse than it is," it continued. "These are hard times in our industry and every worker in it deserves a union so we can all fight back together."

Unions also prevented layoffs from hitting represented members across ZeniMax and Activision Blizzard after Microsoft decided to cut 1,900 jobs in January–and while unions can't always protect against layoffs, they can help mitigate the damage.

During a recent chat with Game Developer, CWA and ex-Bungie general counsel Don McGowan advised studios to unionize. 2024 is shaping up to be a layoff-heavy year, and organizing is one way for developers to fight for their rights.

About the Author(s)

Justin Carter

Contributing Editor, GameDeveloper.com

A Kansas City, MO native, Justin Carter has written for numerous sites including IGN, Polygon, and SyFy Wire. In addition to Game Developer, his writing can be found at io9 over on Gizmodo. Don't ask him about how much gum he's had, because the answer will be more than he's willing to admit.

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