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AFL-CIO urges games industry to unionize

Largest US union federation publishes open letter telling game workers to "demand a stake in your industry"

The American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO), the largest federation of US unions, has issued an open letter to the video game industry urging workers to unionize and voicing its support for Game Workers Unite.

Published in Kotaku, the letter is from AFL-CIO secretary-treasurer Liz Shuler, and represents the first time the federation has spoken publicly about the unionization of the gaming industry.

"This is a moment for change," reads one portion of the letter. "It won't come from CEOs. It won't come from corporate boards. And, it won't come from any one person.

"Change will happen when you gain leverage by joining together in a strong union. And, it will happen when you use your collective voice to bargain for a fair share of the wealth you create every day.

"No matter where you work, bosses will only offer fair treatment when you stand together and demand it. Fortunately, the groundwork is already being laid as grassroots groups like Game Workers Unite embrace the power of solidarity and prove that you don't have to accept a broken, twisted status quo.

"You have the power to demand a stake in your industry and a say in your economic future. What's more, you have millions of brothers and sisters across the country standing with you.

"Your fight is our fight, and we look forward to welcoming you into our union family. Whether we're mainlining caffeine in Santa Monica, clearing tables in Chicago or mining coal in West Virginia, we deserve to collect nothing less than the full value of our work."

Game Workers Unite, one of our People of the Year for 2018, is a group whose mission is to connect pro-union members of the industry around the world. Earlier this week, the group ignited a social media campaign to fire Activision-Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick after the company laid off around 800 workers despite a record year of earnings.

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Rebekah Valentine

Senior Staff Writer

Rebekah arrived at GamesIndustry in 2018 after four years of freelance writing and editing across multiple gaming and tech sites. When she's not recreating video game foods in a real life kitchen, she's happily imagining herself as an Animal Crossing character.