On February 14th, employees of Ubisoft France are being called to go on a nationwide strike by the Video Game Workers Union (STJV), Solidaires Informatique, and CFE-CGC in order to demand fair salaries. On its website, the video game workers union STJV issued a call to action, stating that recent attempts to reach an “acceptable compromise” and resolve pay issues with the Assassin’s Creed publisher had finally come to a dead end.
Following the yearly mandated compensation discussions, the three union groups declare that “the negotiations have hit a wall.” As stated by STJV:
“It has become clear to many Ubisoft employees that the reduction in their living standards is seen not as a bug but as a feature by the company’s leadership. For a company that continues to profit despite what many see as a multi-failing direction to expect employees to bear the cost to increase its profits is deemed utterly unacceptable.”
The French video game company had a 14.3% gain in income during its first semester, led by the debuts of new titles like “Assassin’s Creed Mirage,” while the unions note “the improvement in economic conditions” this year after a difficult fiscal year in 2022–2023.
UNI Global Union supported Ubisoft employees in their fight for better pay
UNI Global Union’s Head of ICTS, Ben Parton, stated.
“We stand in solidarity with Ubisoft employees in their fight for fair wages and dignity. In an industry as profitable as video games, it’s essential that workers are rewarded fairly for their contributions. This strike is not just about Ubisoft; it’s a call for justice for video game workers everywhere.”
In an interview with the union, disgruntled workers questioned why they should take small raises while Ubisoft keeps exceeding expectations. Net bookings for the second quarter of last year were reported by the corporation to be “well above target” at €554.8 million ($597 million). Ubisoft only revealed Monday that Q3 net bookings were “slightly ahead of target” at €626.2 million, indicating that the trend persisted throughout the third quarter.
Many Ubisoft workers now think that the company’s leadership views the decline in their living conditions as a feature rather than a flaw. It is considered very unacceptable for a firm that makes money in spite of what many consider to be a multiple failure trajectory to ask its employees to foot the bill in order to boost its earnings. An extremely uncommon development in the video game business. The unions anticipate that February 14th will see an even more robust mobilization.
The French strike rights
It is essential to remember that, regardless of whether they belong to a union or not, all employees in France have the legal right to strike under French labor rules. The majority of workers in France are able to take collective action against their employers because of the legal definition of the right to strike, which is “the collective and concerted cessation of work in view of supporting professional demands,” as Le Monde’s explanation highlights. When contacted by a game developer, Ubisoft declined to respond.