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Keywords Edmonton staff vote for a union

Outsourcing firm accepts vote of staffing working out of BioWare as labor organizers score a win in Canada

Keywords Studios staff working on BioWare projects have voted in favor of unionization.

The outsourcing firm confirmed the news today in a statement.

"Keywords Studios accept the vote of the 16 Edmonton staff who have chosen to unionize," the company said.

"We value our people and will continue to constantly strive to be a good employer. As an organization we want to ensure an engaging experience for all of our employees, and we take any concerns that our staff have seriously. We will continue to have an ongoing dialogue with all individuals in the Edmonton team, as we move forward together, always learning and improving."

Polygon reported that the vote in favor of forming a union was unanimous.

UFCW Canada, the union with which the group is organizing, did not immediately return a request for comment.

As an external development partner, Keywords provides services like QA, localization, and asset creation, and Keywords QA staff in particular have previously criticized the company's treatment of them.

At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, testers accused the company of crunching despite public health concerns, not allowing employees to work from home, and not sending ill QA team members home.

The Keywords vote is the second notable win for labor organizers in the games industry in as many months.

In May, Raven Software QA staff voted to form the first US union at a major AAA publisher.

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Brendan Sinclair avatar

Brendan Sinclair

Managing Editor

Brendan joined GamesIndustry.biz in 2012. Based in Toronto, Ontario, he was previously senior news editor at GameSpot in the US.