Quality assurance workers at Experis Game Solutions voted this week to unionize with the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) District 10. About 90% of workers cast votes and 83% were in favor of forming the union (with 35 voting yes and 4 voting no), with the union covering 42 workers in the company’s Milwaukee office.
Experis is a subsidiary of ManpowerGroup staffing, and maintains several offices of games workers. The Milwaukee office has worked on several games from client company Microsoft, including Microsoft Flight Sim, Forza Motorsport, Starfield and Halo Infinite.
According to a statement from IAM, the workers voted to form the union in the face of several workplace problems, including alleged anti-union activity: “Low pay, burnout, a lack of job security, and unaffordable health insurance are just a few of the chronic problems in the video game industry that the workers are hoping to improve. The group endured an active anti-union campaign by members of management that included mandatory captive audience meetings, emails, workplace postings, and threats of frozen pay and promotions during negotiations as senior leadership from Experis and Manpower North America were brought in to dissuade the workers from unionizing.”
Experis’s workers are not the first in the games industry to unionize — Raven Software QA workers, ZeniMax’s QA staff and several members of the Sega of America team have voted to do so in the past few years.
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An Experis rep said in a statement to Polygon: “We respect the right of our consultants to make their own decisions regarding union representation, regardless of whether they vote for or against… Once the vote is certified, we will engage honestly and in good faith and, on behalf of our consultants, we hope the union will do the same.”
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