BioWare Support Studio Workers File for Unionization - New Style Motorsport

The people who provided support for Mass Effect: Andromeda and Anthem have started to organize.

Workers at the BioWare support studio known as Keywords have just filed to form a union according to a document that was recently submitted to the Alberta Labor Relations Board and later appeared on Reddit. The employees in question are currently preparing a vote on the matter. If this unionization vote passes, Keywords workers could collectively bargain for better wages and benefits. The union could also protect company employees from abuse.

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Keywords works with a variety of different studios around the world to provide support during the game development process. This includes everything from quality control and localization to game design and programming. The studio behind Mass Effect and Dragon Age, BioWare, has had a long relationship with the company. Keywords recently provided support for the development of Mass Effect: Andromeda and Anthem.


“United Food and Commercial Workers Canada Union Local Number 401 applied under the Industrial Relations Code to become the certified bargaining agent for an employee unit of Keywords Studios British Columbia Incorporated, committing all employees employed in support of development in the BioWare office in Edmonton,” says the document filed with the Alberta Labor Relations Board. This goes on to say that “if the Board certifies that the application meets the requirements of the Code, including that the union has at least 40 percent support of the employees in the proposed bargaining unit, it may conduct a secret proxy ballot. The ticket will ask employees if they want the union to represent them in collective bargaining with the employer.”

There is currently no indication that anyone is against forming a union, but the document submitted to the Alberta Labor Relations Board notes that “employees who oppose the application must submit their objections to the Board in writing, providing details complete to support your position. Objections must relate to the legal requirement of the Code and not simply statements for or against the union becoming the bargaining agent. Support for or against the union is determined by voting.”

People from across the games industry have shown their support for the workers at Keywords. Union organizer at Activision Blizzard Jessica Gonzalez for example saying on Twitter that “Quality Assurance for BioWare is unionizing! Great victory! Solidarity!” The newly formed union representing Raven Software workers also expressed their support.

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