Amidst an increase in union action both in the USA and internationally, Australia’s Game Workers Unite, previously an advisory and support organization, has announced that it will be forming a proper union in 2021. The organization has partnered with umbrella union Professionals Australia to launch Game Workers Australia, Australia’s first union just for workers in the video games industry, Kotaku reports.
Game Workers Unite Australia is a part of the international Game Workers Unite movement, which was endorsed by Bernie Sanders during his US presidential campaign. While workers in the industry could previously join other non-specific unions, including Professionals Australia, the new union will be the first in Australia to specifically cater for the video games industry.
“Next year, GWU Australia will re-launch as Game Workers Australia: an all-new division of Professionals Australia with a tiered membership package just for game workers,” the organistion’s official announcement reads, though it notes that there is currently no confirmed timeframe for the launch.
“By becoming a member of the newly formed Game Workers Australia, you’ll become a formal trade union member of Professionals Australia and have access to support, services and solidarity that will help you at your workplace,” the announcement reads. “With the power of Professionals Australia behind us, we’ll be able to do so much more–take legal action to defend our members against underpayments, discrimination and bullying, organise collective agreements at workplaces, and lobby governments and industry on an equal playing field with studio owners and publishers.”
Game Workers Unite Australia currently operates as an advisory organisation with a free membership option, and it says that the union will continue to provide those same services for free in the future as well. The organization currently provides support for various facets of the industry including game developers, journalists, streamers, game marketing and PR, community managers, and pro players.