After a series of layoffs earlier this year, employees of CD Project Red have founded a union for the entire Polish video game industry.
This year has been an incredibly tough year for developers across the board, with wave after wave of unnecessary layoffs at several major studios. It was no different at CD Projekt Red: In July, layoffs occurred at the developer of Cyberpunk 2077 and Witcher 3 for the third time in three months. Now CD Projekt Red employees have founded a video game union called the Polish Gamedev Workers Union, which includes all members to join the Polish gaming industry. It has the express purpose of “improving workplace/industry standards in a way that has legal effect and amplify the voices of affected workers.”
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An FAQ on the union’s website states that discussions about a union began after the layoffs at CD Projekt, which affected around 100 employees. “This event caused enormous stress and uncertainty, impacted our mental health and led to the formation of this union in response,” the FAQ says. “Having a union means greater security, transparency, better protection and a stronger voice in times of crisis.”
“The above shows that employers tend to see their interests in conflict with those of their employees. While in this agreement employees create the value, they lack any decision-making power in matters of company structure. “That’s why we need to organize to address these situations on an equal basis.”
The FAQ also noted that the union believes unionization is “a way for us to preserve the industry’s potential.”
According to an interview with Lev Ki and Paweł Myszka, the founders of the movement, they said they had received “no response” from CD Projekt, at least at the time of writing, but all relevant legal documents had been submitted, meaning that the Supervisors at CD Projekt have been informed about this by Union (thanks, Eurogamer).
In recent weeks, there have been further layoffs at studios like Team17 and Naughty Dog, as well as Epic Games, laying off nearly 900 employees.