Register a SA Forums Account here!
JOINING THE SA FORUMS WILL REMOVE THIS BIG AD, THE ANNOYING UNDERLINED ADS, AND STUPID INTERSTITIAL ADS!!!

You can: log in, read the tech support FAQ, or request your lost password. This dumb message (and those ads) will appear on every screen until you register! Get rid of this crap by registering your own SA Forums Account and joining roughly 150,000 Goons, for the one-time price of $9.95! We charge money because it costs us money per month for bills, and since we don't believe in showing ads to our users, we try to make the money back through forum registrations.
 
  • Post
  • Reply
BoldFace
Feb 28, 2011


Why bother busting unions now? Soon they'll be Microsoft's problem anyway.

Adbot
ADBOT LOVES YOU

Nybble
Jun 28, 2008

praise chuck, raise heck

I didn’t realize that the ABK CMO was the dude who defended the “Women belong in the kitchen” Burger King CMO.

https://adage.com/article/marketing...rpreted/2320086

He’s of course deleted even the apology tweet, like it never happened. And why wouldn’t he, given that he got the new job? Wonder if he will be kept on post-acquisition

Rarity
Oct 21, 2010

i fucking love scoops


ABK refused to acknowledge the Raven QA union, they're now going to file for an election with the NLRB

Dick Burglar
Mar 6, 2006
Check out my hot takes because I'm a straight white male


that article posted:

Complicating the unionization effort is an organizational change Raven announced internally on Monday. In an email obtained by Polygon, Raven founder and studio head Brian Raffel told workers that "QA colleagues will embed directly within various teams across the studio, including Animation, Art, Design, Audio, Production and Engineering," a transition that had been planned for months. The unionization effort was not mentioned alongside the reorganization, according to Polygon.
Ah, yes. Definitely been planned for months. Not something we suddenly decided when our employees created a union. Totally legal and above board, yessirree.

Rarity
Oct 21, 2010

i fucking love scoops


Dick Burglar posted:

Ah, yes. Definitely been planned for months. Not something we suddenly decided when our employees created a union. Totally legal and above board, yessirree.

It very easily could have been planned months ago, it's not like staff only started organising last week :v:

yeti friend
Jul 5, 2006




Soiled Meat

That's IMO the smart thing to do with QA and it's darkly funny that it only came about because of unionization.

CharlieFoxtrot
Mar 26, 2007


Rarity posted:

It very easily could have been planned months ago, it's not like staff only started organising last week :v:

It's just like when Jen Oneal tendered her resignation and the board was like "aw gee whiz we just approved your repeated requests to be paid equally to your co-lead, oh well"

cheetah7071
Oct 20, 2010

honk honk


College Slice

BoldFace posted:

Why bother busting unions now? Soon they'll be Microsoft's problem anyway.

because the notion that the owner might not be able to extract the maximum possible percentage of excess value is deeply antithetical to the owning class, on an ideological level

Agrias120
Jun 27, 2002

I will burn my dread.



yeti friend posted:

That's IMO the smart thing to do with QA and it's darkly funny that it only came about because of unionization.

Yeah, this. Reading it at face value it just makes sense as the smart way to integrate QA. But when you view it with the broader picture… yikes.

Valiantman
Jun 25, 2011

Ways to circumvent the Compact #6: Find a dreaming god and affect his dreams so that they become reality. Hey, it's not like it's you who's affecting the world. Blame the other guy for irresponsibly falling asleep.

Could someone explain a little, since apparently there's something I fundamentally don't understand about worker unions in the USA.

Workers working in QA formed a union. For some reason the company does not like that. (I don't get that either but nevermind that.)
But what does it matter if the company now shuffles all those people around? The union still exists and, if anything, doesn't that spread it wider? So more people would like to join?

Craptacular!
Jul 9, 2001

Fuck the DH


In essence management decided to not ostracize QA into it's own little hole to be ignored and mistreated. But consequently there's a much larger pool of employees who are part of the amalgamated team and can be moved to QA if all the original QA employees who voted for the union were to be fired.

rargphlam
Dec 16, 2008


The thought is likely that if you're embedded it is harder in your day/week in the life activities to actively organize or participate in a union.

In practice I don't know if it will play out that way, with digital solutions mediating a lot of the strain they would likely feel in organization efforts.

CharlieFoxtrot
Mar 26, 2007


Valiantman posted:

Could someone explain a little, since apparently there's something I fundamentally don't understand about worker unions in the USA.

Workers working in QA formed a union. For some reason the company does not like that. (I don't get that either but nevermind that.)
But what does it matter if the company now shuffles all those people around? The union still exists and, if anything, doesn't that spread it wider? So more people would like to join?

The union was not voluntarily recognized by management, so they have to submit a petition to the National Labor Relations Board to hold an election where they need 50% +1 votes within the "bargaining unit" to be legally recognized as a union.

Determining the size of the bargaining unit has been one of the biggest tools for management to dilute organizing power and defeat an election. Under 2019-era rules, if QA remained its own separate department, "community of interest" standard would make that department a reasonable bargaining unit, but by splitting them up it weakens that standard and would force the vote to cover the entire developer.

However, last month the NLRB (which has become more union-friendly since Biden appointed more Dems to the board) was soliciting amicus briefs on specifically this issue as it pertained to another case, signalling that they might be more willing to side with the union on this issue. It would also backfire if Raven unionization interest was actually high across the company

Rarity
Oct 21, 2010

i fucking love scoops


rargphlam posted:

The thought is likely that if you're embedded it is harder in your day/week in the life activities to actively organize or participate in a union.

In practice I don't know if it will play out that way, with digital solutions mediating a lot of the strain they would likely feel in organization efforts.

Not surprised that no one likes game execs enough to invite them to groupchats

Ash1138
Sep 29, 2001

Get up, chief. We're just gettin' started.



Reik posted:

Turns out the Unity CEO saying: "We work with the military but not in any capacity that would cause loss of life" turned out to be a lie. Who would have thought?

https://www.vice.com/en/article/xgdv8q/unity-dogfight-simulation-air-force-kill-chain

tired: blockchain integration

wired: kill chain integration

Dick Burglar
Mar 6, 2006
Check out my hot takes because I'm a straight white male

cheetah7071 posted:

because the notion that the owner might not be able to extract the maximum possible percentage of excess value is deeply antithetical to the owning class, on an ideological level

Also, Cold War-era domino effect thinking. If you don't stamp out the beginnings of socialism unions, they'll start springing up everywhere! Like weeds!

genovefa fedelmid
Sep 28, 2016


I don't really get how unions work in the US. Here you join the union that is appropriate for your job. Your employer never knows unless you tell them because it's none of their business. You stay in that union while ever you stay in that field. It seems unions are workplace specific in the US? Except there are also unions that seem like the way they are here too, like the entertainment industry unions. Why don't the games industry workers as a whole make a union similar to the actors, writers, crew unions that seem pretty powerful in Hollywood?

Acerbatus
Jun 26, 2020

by Jeffrey of YOSPOS


Valiantman posted:

Workers working in QA formed a union. For some reason the company does not like that. (I don't get that either but nevermind that.)

...Because arguing for humane working conditions and fair wages means less profits? Seems pretty straightforward to me.

genovefa fedelmid posted:

I don't really get how unions work in the US. Here you join the union that is appropriate for your job. Your employer never knows unless you tell them because it's none of their business. You stay in that union while ever you stay in that field. It seems unions are workplace specific in the US? Except there are also unions that seem like the way they are here too, like the entertainment industry unions. Why don't the games industry workers as a whole make a union similar to the actors, writers, crew unions that seem pretty powerful in Hollywood?

That would require convincing a majority of people who want to work in the games industry to unionize. A group that has a large number of people willing to work absurd hours for peanuts just to work on video games, before you even take into account individuals that oppose unions as being socialist or the like.

Acerbatus fucked around with this message at 00:10 on Jan 27, 2022

Craptacular!
Jul 9, 2001

Fuck the DH


genovefa fedelmid posted:

Why don't the games industry workers as a whole make a union similar to the actors, writers, crew unions that seem pretty powerful in Hollywood?

If you try to survive in Hollywood without playing nice by unions, you get pretty lousy productions most of the time. Anyone with the union who wants to work for you is going to do it under an assumed name. Nonunion productions are often like B-movies. Producing a video game is a job that mostly involves a lot of computer touching, and there's a lot of people being taught by schools how to touch computers in a certain way to produce similar results. QA especially suffers because along with being a Twitch streamer it fulfills a fantasy to be paid to have fun playing video games that you'd play anyways if there wasn't "real work".

At most publishers, you have the occasional director/producer like Hideo Kojima or Tetsuya Nomura that a company considers a vital asset, but everyone else is generally expendable.

Bobfromsales
Apr 2, 2010


genovefa fedelmid posted:

I don't really get how unions work in the US. Here you join the union that is appropriate for your job. Your employer never knows unless you tell them because it's none of their business. You stay in that union while ever you stay in that field. It seems unions are workplace specific in the US? Except there are also unions that seem like the way they are here too, like the entertainment industry unions. Why don't the games industry workers as a whole make a union similar to the actors, writers, crew unions that seem pretty powerful in Hollywood?

Unions that are long established argely work like you'd expect.

Creating a new union is something else entirely.

Decades of anti-union propaganda have created very little positive sentiment for unions among the working class. Something like only 7% of workers are part of unions.

Kanos
Sep 6, 2006

was there a time when speedwagon didn't get trolled

genovefa fedelmid posted:

I don't really get how unions work in the US. Here you join the union that is appropriate for your job. Your employer never knows unless you tell them because it's none of their business. You stay in that union while ever you stay in that field. It seems unions are workplace specific in the US? Except there are also unions that seem like the way they are here too, like the entertainment industry unions. Why don't the games industry workers as a whole make a union similar to the actors, writers, crew unions that seem pretty powerful in Hollywood?

There has been a sustained century plus long effort in the US to stamp unions out of existence and tons of our law structure is built to suppress and break them up. Since national unions are generally formed and built by the combination/coalescing of smaller, local unions, this constant suppression has meant that very few industries in the US ever formed enough local unions with enough local power to form larger organizations here.

As some examples of suppression tactics, we have a lot of states which are "right to work", which means that you have the "right to work" in any profession without joining a union, even if that profession is unionized. This cuts off an enormous source of worker solidarity in a given profession, allows companies to specifically hire anti-union or union-apathetic workers to shrink the unionized working populace, and starves the unions of dues required to keep running. We also have "at will" employment states, which allow employers to fire employees for basically any reason they want at any given time as long as it's for a "non-retaliatory, non-discriminatory" reason. Did you start unionizing your workplace? Oops, you're fired. No, they didn't fire you because you're unionizing, because that would be retaliatory. They fired you because you were five minutes late twice two years ago.

We also have plenty of examples of companies that are willing to shut down entire local locations and franchises if workers show that they're willing to unionize. Starbucks in particular famously "temporarily" closed down several profitable franchise because the baristas at those franchises put together local unions. These large companies are willing to soak large short term losses if it means they retain the ability to treat their employees like indentured servants.

When you take these suppression efforts, toss in the implied threat of "If you unionize you will lose your job either by us firing you directly or by us simply shutting down the business and moving it somewhere without a union", and add them in to the decades upon decades of anti-union propaganda along these lines...



It means you get a huge chilling effect on union membership and activism that gives corporations all the power. The powerful unions that do exist in the US mostly - with a few exceptions - exist in industries or professions that are old enough that unions formed before stuff like right to work and at will employment became common and before "socialism" became a dirty word in the US.

It's really easy for people on Twitter and stuff to go "drat they should unionize", but trying to openly unionize in the US is really dangerous and you are at a serious risk of being rendered unemployed and potentially unemployable if you're recognized as a ringleader. The workers who do spearhead new union organization efforts are incredibly brave.

Kanos fucked around with this message at 00:35 on Jan 27, 2022

Craptacular!
Jul 9, 2001

Fuck the DH


Kanos posted:

we have a lot of states which are "right to work", which means that you have the "right to work" in any profession without joining a union, even if that profession is unionized.
This isn't quite right. A place that requires joining a union and can only employ union members is called a "closed shop", and even ask union people and they'll tell you that there are aren't closed shops in America since the Taft–Hartley Act largely outlawed them in 1947. However, working at a place and NOT joining the union still requires paying dues to the union that's not representing you without a right to work law, so most people join the union instead of paying them for no benefit.

Kanos
Sep 6, 2006

was there a time when speedwagon didn't get trolled

Craptacular! posted:

This isn't quite right. A place that requires joining a union and can only employ union members is called a "closed shop", and even ask union people and they'll tell you that there are aren't closed shops in America since the Taft–Hartley Act largely outlawed them in 1947. However, working at a place and NOT joining the union still requires paying dues to the union that's not representing you without a right to work law, so most people join the union instead of paying them for no benefit.

This is specifically correct but I was simplifying for the sake of someone from outside of the US who is interested in the subject but is probably not interested in reading legal minutiae.

To expand the point slightly, as Craptacular says, we passed a national law in 1947 that forbade "closed shops", which were union-only places of employment. If those places were fully unionized, it was still allowed for the union to charge non-union employees working there union fees, because in theory even the non-union members were benefiting from the union's organization efforts at that employer - this was a huge driver in union recruitment, because if you're going to be paying union dues you might as well join the union. Right-to-work removed the ability for unions to charge non-union members, which allowed employers to divide and conquer using propaganda like the Delta posters I linked above.

Deki
May 12, 2008


I'm curious how contract employees work with union negotiations.

I knew someone who worked for ABK on a contract basis who was on starvation wages (I made more in bumfuck nowhere South Dakota fresh out of college than he did in NYC as a 5 year vet) and had to bunk with others and get help from his parents just to not be completely impoverished.

Would he and others like him be completely shut out by this? Because my god, if he's still there, I hope this helps him.

Cattail Prophet
Apr 12, 2014



Kanos posted:

It means you get a huge chilling effect on union membership and activism that gives corporations all the power. The powerful unions that do exist in the US mostly - with a few exceptions - exist in industries or professions that are old enough that unions formed before stuff like right to work and at will employment became common and before "socialism" became a dirty word in the US.

One phenomenon brought on by all the roadblocks to starting new unions is that oftentimes a unionized workplace will be members of one of the established nationwide unions even if they're only tangentially related to the industry in question. Look at everyone that the teamsters union represents, for instance.

Out of curiosity, is this a route that any unionization efforts in the gaming industry have attempted?

Edmund Lava
Sep 8, 2004

Hey, I'm from Brooklyn. I'm going to call myself Mr. Friendly.



Deki posted:

I'm curious how contract employees work with union negotiations.

I knew someone who worked for ABK on a contract basis who was on starvation wages (I made more in bumfuck nowhere South Dakota fresh out of college than he did in NYC as a 5 year vet) and had to bunk with others and get help from his parents just to not be completely impoverished.

Would he and others like him be completely shut out by this? Because my god, if he's still there, I hope this helps him.

The union would lay out what a minimum pay would be for x, y z work. Also grant health insurance, pensions and such. We already have plenty of unions that work with contracted employees. SAG-AFTRA being probably the most well known.

30.5 Days
Nov 19, 2006



CharlieFoxtrot posted:

The union was not voluntarily recognized by management, so they have to submit a petition to the National Labor Relations Board to hold an election where they need 50% +1 votes within the "bargaining unit" to be legally recognized as a union.

Determining the size of the bargaining unit has been one of the biggest tools for management to dilute organizing power and defeat an election. Under 2019-era rules, if QA remained its own separate department, "community of interest" standard would make that department a reasonable bargaining unit, but by splitting them up it weakens that standard and would force the vote to cover the entire developer.

However, last month the NLRB (which has become more union-friendly since Biden appointed more Dems to the board) was soliciting amicus briefs on specifically this issue as it pertained to another case, signalling that they might be more willing to side with the union on this issue. It would also backfire if Raven unionization interest was actually high across the company

Also, even if the union gets the bargaining unit they want, there is about to be a union election. Keeping the qa in a little dungeon, treating them like C.H.U.D.s, and preventing them from even seeing the devs in person (often times even banning them from company celebrations) is all fun and games until you're locking union organizers in a dark room with the entire bargaining unit and no supervision.

blastron
Dec 11, 2007

Don't doodle on it!



Cattail Prophet posted:

One phenomenon brought on by all the roadblocks to starting new unions is that oftentimes a unionized workplace will be members of one of the established nationwide unions even if they're only tangentially related to the industry in question. Look at everyone that the teamsters union represents, for instance.

Out of curiosity, is this a route that any unionization efforts in the gaming industry have attempted?

I kind of fell out of the games labor unionization sphere after my own organization attempt didn't get off the ground and GWU sort of disintegrated, but last I heard both IATSE and CWA were making inroads. IATSE is a broad entertainment industry union, while CWA is a telecom union that's moving into the overall tech worker sphere. The Seattle chapter of GWU folded into the IWW, but I've lost touch with them so I don't know if that's still active.

genovefa fedelmid
Sep 28, 2016


Bobfromsales posted:

Unions that are long established argely work like you'd expect.

Creating a new union is something else entirely.

Decades of anti-union propaganda have created very little positive sentiment for unions among the working class. Something like only 7% of workers are part of unions.

This makes sense.

and ty Kanos and Craptacular for the further info. I get it now... technically there's nothing stopping the unions from being a national thing, it's just a monumental social (and legal) challenge.

FAUXTON
Jun 2, 2005

hope you're doing well


genovefa fedelmid posted:

I don't really get how unions work in the US. Here you join the union that is appropriate for your job. Your employer never knows unless you tell them because it's none of their business. You stay in that union while ever you stay in that field. It seems unions are workplace specific in the US? Except there are also unions that seem like the way they are here too, like the entertainment industry unions. Why don't the games industry workers as a whole make a union similar to the actors, writers, crew unions that seem pretty powerful in Hollywood?

America is by and large culturally inured against building any type of organized labor for reasons before and beyond the topic of this thread, but to make it directly relevant - even attempting to start a union caused the employer to dissolve their unit and dilute it across the company so they can be managed out (fired) at once by many different managers and the company doesn't have to admit they fired the QA unit for trying to organize, merely that they were being embedded into their coverage areas to better work with their charges and, gosh wouldn't you guess it, huge culture clash, we tried but in the end we couldn't make it work and they left etc

Magmarashi
May 20, 2009







FAUXTON posted:

America is by and large culturally inured against building any type of organized labor for reasons before and beyond the topic of this thread, but to make it directly relevant - even attempting to start a union caused the employer to dissolve their unit and dilute it across the company so they can be managed out (fired) at once by many different managers and the company doesn't have to admit they fired the QA unit for trying to organize, merely that they were being embedded into their coverage areas to better work with their charges and, gosh wouldn't you guess it, huge culture clash, we tried but in the end we couldn't make it work and they left etc

And they'll get away with it despite it being the most blatantly transparent anti-union act that couldn't even fool a baby because Organized Action is "Pinko poo poo" and goes against the values of Rugged Individualism

Magmarashi fucked around with this message at 05:34 on Jan 27, 2022

FAUXTON
Jun 2, 2005

hope you're doing well


Magmarashi posted:

And they'll get away with it despite it being the most blatantly transparent anti-union act that couldn't even fool a baby because Organized Action is "Pinko poo poo" and goes against the values of Rugged Individualism

That's what I was saying

haldolium
Oct 22, 2016





https://twitter.com/gamedevdotcom/status/1487054841876779012?s=20&t=Er7b8uM_BThBi6l6AJimdw

Tombot
Oct 21, 2008


I'm pretty sure that means we do get it.

Rarity
Oct 21, 2010

i fucking love scoops


Our ponzi scheme isn't working because everyone is so dumb they know it's a ponzi scheme

Shooting Blanks
Jun 6, 2007

Real bullets mess up how cool this thing looks.

-Blade





Interesting interview with Yanis Varoufakis, former economist employed by Valve. He moved on to become the finance minister of Greece and is now a MP there.

I don't 100% agree with everything he's saying, but he brings up a lot of valid and interesting points about crypto and NFTs - and specifically mentions that in a way, TF2 hats were a precursor for NFTs.

Vegetable
Oct 22, 2010



Honestly, NFTs are no more a sham than people getting, I dunno, autographed books or certified movie prop replicas or Pokémon card misprints or the brick from the Berlin wall. It’s not about the actual thing but the symbolism or the rarity of it. If they fix the carbon impact (and it’s already totally possible), then what the heck, go for it. Giant corporations will benefit but legitimate artists as well. And if anyone doesn’t want to participate that’s fine as well.

Of course it’s more than a little lol that Ubisoft execs think the right message is “dumbass consumers just don’t get it.” But I think people do get too upset about markets existing for nebulous things. The collectibles market was already weird and inscrutable for hundreds of years; this is not anything new.

Tarezax
Sep 12, 2009

MORT cancels dance: interrupted by MORT


NFTs aren't actually an item though, just a glorified receipt.

Looper
Mar 1, 2012



Vegetable posted:

Honestly, NFTs are no more a sham than people getting, I dunno, autographed books or certified movie prop replicas or Pokémon card misprints or the brick from the Berlin wall. It’s not about the actual thing but the symbolism or the rarity of it. If they fix the carbon impact (and it’s already totally possible), then what the heck, go for it. Giant corporations will benefit but legitimate artists as well. And if anyone doesn’t want to participate that’s fine as well.

Of course it’s more than a little lol that Ubisoft execs think the right message is “dumbass consumers just don’t get it.” But I think people do get too upset about markets existing for nebulous things. The collectibles market was already weird and inscrutable for hundreds of years; this is not anything new.

uhhh

Adbot
ADBOT LOVES YOU

Dieting Hippo
Jan 5, 2006

THIS IS NOT A PROPER DIET FOR A HIPPO




Vegetable posted:

Honestly, NFTs are no more a sham than people getting, I dunno, autographed books or certified movie prop replicas or Pokémon card misprints or the brick from the Berlin wall. It’s not about the actual thing but the symbolism or the rarity of it. If they fix the carbon impact (and it’s already totally possible), then what the heck, go for it. Giant corporations will benefit but legitimate artists as well. And if anyone doesn’t want to participate that’s fine as well.

They've been likened to buying a plot of land on the moon from some random-rear end company that sells those, but at least with moon plots they give you a printed certificate you can hold in your hands. And environmental impacts get worse as NFTs go on, not better!

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • Post
  • Reply