Drive to establish UK games trade union

Drive to establish UK games trade union
Will Freeman

By Will Freeman

September 13th 2013 at 3:47PM

Dev Union movement to encourage debate on addressing fair treatment of staff in development and publishing

A group from the UK games industry has today established Dev Union, which hopes to encourage debate around the establishment of a UK trade union for those in the games industry.

The proposed trade union would be called the UK Video Game Workers Association.

"The Idea of a Union was on my mind before the Blitz Games situation, but it serves as a timely catalyst," said founding Dev Union member Tim Lozinski, a video games artist and animator, and founder of TL Multimedia, with experience as a voluntary union branch official supporting those dealing with redundancy.

"There are many other issues which a union could deal with than just redundancy. There are a lot of ethical issues at play here. This is just the beginning of the beginning of the idea."

According to the Dev Union's Facebook page, the group hopes to generate discussion around the formation of a trade union which would represent workers' rights around game industry specific issues including vaporware bonuses, crunch and burnout, unequal contract terms and unfair disciplinary or dismissal processes.

"The main question is, do people want a union?" put forward Lozinski. "What would they like to see improve in their working conditions? I'd like to know and so I'm making a move to make a movement. There's a great deal of talk of the industry 'maturing' now. The film, television and music industries all have unions which support their members in a variety of ways. It feels about time video games had one too."

Do you think the UK games industry needs its own trade union? Join the debate in the comments section below.