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SEGA Workers Reach Landmark Collective Bargaining Agreement

Video Game Workers Organizing with CWA Continue to Set New Industry Standards

(Irvine, California)—In a landmark moment for labor in the video game industry, workers who are members of the Communications Workers of America (CWA) at SEGA of America voted to ratify their first collectively bargained contract. The vote closed on Tuesday, March 26. The contract will cover a range of job titles, including designers, translators, editors, producers, quality assurance testers, marketing managers, and more.

This ratification marks a significant step forward in securing substantial improvements and protections for SEGA employees. As the workers behind successful franchises like Sonic the Hedgehog, Persona, and Like a Dragon, this first union contract reflects a turning point in the industry as workers are not only winning union elections but also using their collective power to secure union contracts to improve their working conditions.

"This is a watershed moment for workers in the video game industry. We've proven that a collectively bargained contract with substantial improvements and protections is possible even when management takes an initially hostile stance toward worker organizing. We’re hopeful that in the midst of extensive layoffs, workers across the video game industry will see organizing as a pathway to improve working conditions for all of us,” said Jasmin Hernandez, Short-Form Animation Production Manager and member of the Allied Employees Guild Improving SEGA (AEGIS-CWA). 

The ratified contract includes several key agreements and provisions, aimed at enhancing the working conditions and rights of SEGA of America employees. These include:

  • Base-building raises for every worker in the unit, ensuring equitable compensation across titles and departments.
  • Just Cause protections, making AEGIS-CWA workers the second group of workers in the North American video game industry to have such safeguards against arbitrary discipline and discharge.
  • Layoff protections, including recall rights for temporary layoffs and severance for permanent layoffs.
  • Commitment to crediting all workers for their contributions to video games, including early QA testers.
  • Clarification of the non-compete policy, allowing workers to pursue creative endeavors outside of SEGA without fear of conflict.
  • A commitment by management to ensure advanced notice of any planned use of AI in the workplace.
  • Codified commitment to continued hybrid work for at least six months, providing stability and flexibility to employees.
  • Expansion of professional development opportunities to both temporary and full-time workers, including potential travel expenses paid.
  • Codified benefits such as an annual bonus plan, retirement benefits, health insurance, parental benefits, and bereavement leaves.
  • Establishment of shop stewards and a labor management committee to facilitate communication and address concerns within the workplace.

AEGIS-CWA currently represents 150 full-time and temporary employees across multiple departments, including Brand Marketing, Games as a Service, Localization, Marketing Services, PD Ops, Product Development, Sales, Quality Assurance, and others at SEGA of America's Burbank, Calif., and Irvine, Calif., campuses. Workers first began bargaining after winning their union election on July 10, 2023, in a 91-26 vote.

"Workers in the video game industry have contributed to the success of multiple games and companies that have become household names. Yet, that hasn’t translated into the fair wages, job stability, or career trajectories they deserve. Workers at Sega of America have just shown what is possible by standing together to demand the respect their hard work has earned," said Peter O'Brien, CWA Local 9510 President.


The Campaign to Organize Digital Employees (CODE-CWA) is a network of worker-organizers and their staff working every single day to build the voice and power necessary to ensure the future of the tech, game, and digital industries in the United States and Canada. CODE-CWA is a project of the Communications Workers of America which represents hundreds of thousands of workers throughout tech, media, telecom, and other industries who stand together to fight for justice on the job and in our communities.

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