Tech, telecoms and gaming unions demand action against excessive layoffs in tech and gaming


Tech, telecoms and gaming unions demand action against excessive layoffs in tech and gaming

An emergency motion in opposition to excessive layoffs in the tech and video game industry has been unanimously adopted by the UNI ICTS World Conference, representing telecommunications, business services, tech and gaming unions from over 95 countries. The motion, introduced by the Game Makers of Finland, is in response to over 8,500 layoffs reported within the video games industry and more than 50,000 in the broader tech sector over the past year by major companies such as Activision Blizzard, Google, Electronic Arts and others despite recording high profits. 

The motion criticizes companies’ practice of boosting stock prices at the expense of employee welfare and calls for a shift towards more sustainable and ethical business practices. 

“Too often tech and gaming companies are prioritizing short-term profit margins over the welfare of the workforce and long-term sustainability. Unions around the world are saying enough is enough,” stated a UNI Global Union ICTS head, Ben Parton. “Game workers are the engine of this industry, and should be treated with dignity. That means their rights to have a union, to collectively bargain and to negotiate over layoffs must be respected now.” 

The motion advocates for: 

  • Worker and union involvement in planning and decision-making processes concerning layoffs. 
  • Good faith negotiations to provide adequate notice, severance packages, and support services like career counselling. 
  • Transparency and accountability in layoff execution, ensuring fair treatment. 
  • Compliance with national collective bargaining agreements and laws, especially those mandating union engagement during redundancy negotiations. 

“Protecting workers’ rights extends to ensuring freedom to join unions and engage in collective bargaining without fear of retaliation,” Milla Pennanen from Game Makers of Finland added. “Our collective effort is to not only address these layoffs but to build stronger, more equitable workplaces. We stand united with all affected workers and urge the industry to commit to substantial and lasting change.” 

The UNI ICTS World Conference sets the course for the next four years of global solidarity among workers and unions to challenge these practices and advocate for workplaces that are not only fairer but also embody strength through collective action. 

UNI ICTS supports unions around the world to tackle some of the key issues facing their industries  –restructuring, outsourcing, algorithmic management, employer surveillance and more. From game studios to contact centres, telecoms companies to tech giants and business service companies, UNI is building worker power to expand collective bargaining and improve working conditions everywhere in a dynamic and rapidly evolving sector.