US SEGA workers secure historic collective bargaining agreement, setting new milestone in the video game industry


US SEGA workers secure historic collective bargaining agreement, setting new milestone in the video game industry

In a historic move within the video game sector, SEGA of America workers, under the banner of the Communications Workers of America (CWA), have successfully ratified their first collective bargaining agreement. The ratification, which concluded on March 26, covers a broad spectrum of job roles, ranging from designers and translators to quality assurance testers and marketing managers, heralding a new era of worker rights and protections in the industry. 


The agreement marks a pivotal moment for SEGA of America, known for iconic franchises such as Sonic the Hedgehog, Persona, and Like a Dragon. This union contract signifies a significant shift, demonstrating the potential of collective bargaining to usher in enhanced working conditions and job security. 


In celebration of this milestone, Ben Parton, UNI Global Union´s Head of ICTS welcomed the new contract, stating, “This historic victory at SEGA of America is a monumental win for workers across the video game industry. It exemplifies the tangible benefits of solidarity and collective bargaining. We commend the courage and determination of the SEGA workers, whose efforts have paved the way for a more equitable and just working environment in the video game sector in United States.” 


Key provisions of the newly ratified contract include equitable base-building raises, just cause protections against arbitrary discipline, enhanced layoff protections, and a commitment to crediting all contributors to SEGA’s video games. Additionally, the agreement addresses non-compete policies, the use of AI in the workplace, hybrid work arrangements, professional development opportunities, and a comprehensive benefits package. 


Jasmin Hernandez, a Short-Form Animation Production Manager and member of Allied Employees Guild Improving SEGA (AEGIS-CWA), highlighted the importance of this achievement. “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.”  


AEGIS-CWA, representing 150 full-time and temporary employees across various departments at SEGA of America’s Burbank and Irvine campuses, initiated bargaining following a decisive union election victory on July 10, 2023. 


The Campaign to Organize Digital Employees (CODE-CWA) and the broader CWA community continue to advocate for workers’ rights across the tech, media, and telecommunications industries, striving for justice and equity in the workplace and beyond.