POINTS OF UNITY

The Game Workers Unite Points of Unity stands as a living document that defines our collective goals, mission, and vision for Game Workers Unite as an organization. While all local chapters are completely autonomous, to be recognized as official local chapters, they must abide by the fundamental ideas as set out by this Points of Unity document.

 

Game Workers Unite is a worker-led, worker-first organization. This means the organization serves workers and their interests first and primarily. All other points come after this - if any action would be in contradiction with putting workers and their interests first, regardless of it fulfilling other goals or points, it is against the Points of Unity.

 

What are our core tenets?

 

Our number one goal is building the foundations for mass game industry unionization, starting from the bottom up, primarily by prioritizing workers on a local scale. To achieve this, we hold the following as core tenets:

  • Empowering the voices of workers and reducing worker exploitation continuously beyond our unionization efforts, amongst other efforts to empower those who are underrepresented.

  • Distributed organizing and distributed power. We seek to find solidarity with all workers and organizations that seek to raise up the power of the working classes.

  • We stand against all racist, sexist, homophobic, transphobic, ableist, classist, ageist, or otherwise derogatory language and behavior. We stand against all forms of oppression and exploitation.

  • In any situation where workers’ interests conflict with those of managers or business owners, GWU will side with workers and those with the least institutional power.

  • The best means of implementing the principles outlined here will be open community dialog among workers.

 

How are we accomplishing this?

 

Ours is an international effort. We understand that all workers’ conditions are inherently linked. As such, the needs of one nation’s workers shall not be prioritized over the needs of another’s. Similarly, we shall not prioritize the needs of workers who are members of our organization over the needs of any worker within games.

 

Issues of employment, abuse, outsourcing, and development, amongst others, link us all, so we must continuously seek international solidarity and cooperation. We believe our local chapters will be the specific focus points of our efforts and will be supported by the weight of the international organization. As such, we seek to organize local communities that prioritize horizontal, bottom-up growth. All of our local and national chapters shall be autonomous, but supported by the international organization, so long as they agree to the collective Points of Unity document. To this end, we must respect the decisions of local chapters and workers who wish to unionize in their own fashion (with an existing union, by forming a new one, alternative models, etc).

 

Who are we?

 

We are an intersectional organization that strives for solidarity with all oppressed and exploited groups. Our members abide by the following concepts:

  • We not only strive to listen to the voices of marginalized people, but also to amplify and support them.

  • We do not actively hold exploitative or oppressive beliefs, especially towards other workers. Our members actively work to address, call out, and unlearn exploitative and oppressive beliefs, including unconscious biases that they may be unaware of.

  • We acknowledge that we all hold exploitative and oppressive beliefs because we live in an exploitative and oppressive system--the key is working to change those beliefs and the behaviours that go along with them.

  • We are mindful of and acknowledge power dynamics in their many forms in play between members and to defer to those with marginalized or less empowered experiences on subjects directly affecting that issue.

  • We refuse to allow members into our spaces who actively serve reactionary systems of violence (i.e. police and members of police unions).

  • We encourage a culture of self-criticism, where those with more power strive to make themselves accountable to those with less, and do the work to educate themselves on issues affecting marginalized groups that they do not belong to.

 

What do we believe in?

 

Beyond our core tenets, there are a number of ideas outside of our core tenets that we as an organization believe are critical to our culture - as such, these ideas are outlined here:

  • We believe the exploitation of labour is inherently unethical and must be continuously mitigated as long as it exists. We are not obligated to give equal platform to those who express views that are pro-exploitation or anti-labour. Exploitation can be defined as any situation where a group or individual is extracting value from the labour of another person through their ownership of capital (whether that’s a company, IP, or other property that is used to generate profit). Any time someone is making a profit off of someone else’s work, or attempting to do so, exploitation is taking place.

  • We encourage discussion over disagreements. As such, we will not tolerate attempts to silence or undermine the voices of workers, be it from management or another worker. This does not paradoxically mean that a worker attempting to silence other workers must be allowed at the table. Statements that do harm to the well-being of workers will be handled promptly and called out as such.

  • We demand accessibility in all matters, in both physical and digital community spaces. This includes accessibility of access, language, ability, and more. We recognize a crucial part of making a space accessible is about removing unnecessary boundaries and roadblocks to allowing someone to get involved and help out.

  • We actively support direct action as we see it as an immediate and tangible means of achieving issue awareness and better conditions in the game development industry.

  • We support an industrial union focus, meaning that we seek to organize all workers in the industry regardless of discipline. All roles should be present in the same union to maximise worker leverage. All workers in a studio/company deserve fair representation and better conditions.

    • We also support the forming of craft specific guilds or caucuses under the umbrella of a unifying union so that the various disciplines can make their voices heard within a potential union.

  • We are committed to remaining non-sectarian and we will not censor or deride individuals for their particular political tendency. However, we reserve the right to censor politics that are pro-employer, pro-exploitation, pro-oppression, bigoted, or are in any other way reactionary.

  • We as an organization are strong because we are a large collective of anonymous workers presenting a unified front. Therefore, whenever a worker has been repressed, taken advantage of, or exploited, we must leverage our collective strength to empower and support them. To that end, we should use resources at our disposal, including, but not limited to, social media and outreach to support workers who have been exploited, repressed, taken advantage of or mistreated by their companies.

 

We agree to abide by the rules as set out within the Points of Unity and to strive to further our core goal, building the foundations for mass game industry unionization, starting by prioritizing workers on a local scale, in their studios, their cities, and their countries. Should at any time the Points of Unity no longer be considered relevant or accurate to the organization or should a point be missing from the document, it may be amended and ratified by a vote of the general membership. This vote shall take place during a one week period following a proposed amendment and shall require a two-thirds supporting vote of all votes cast to be ratified. This is a living document that will shift and change to reflect the direction of our organization and our membership.

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GAME WORKERS UNITE