IWGB Union opens doors to tabletop game workers

Fri, May 10, 2024, 2:06 PM
  • The IWGB voted unanimously on 28 March 2024 to welcome tabletop and board game workers into the Game Workers branch of the IWGB union.
  • This move establishes the first union in the UK for workers in the tabletop and board game industry and follows on from the formation of the United Paizo Workers union (UPW) in October 2021 in the United States.
  • With unprecedented recent layoffs in the games industry, the Game Workers branch has been working hard to provide support and guidance to independent game workers in the UK.

Thursday 28 March 2024: The Independent Workers Union of Great Britain (IWGB) Game Workers Branch voted unanimously to include tabletop and board game workers in the constitution of the union. The Game Workers branch of the IWGB is a worker-led, democratic trade union that represents and advocates for UK game workers' rights. With this vote, the union makes clear their support and acceptance of all game workers, regardless of field or industry.

Unions in the UK allow entry to anyone who fits the membership criteria at any time, allowing members to organise and support each other even without recognised workplace majorities. The Game Workers branch is open to current or former workers in games and interactive media, along with students working towards degrees in the games industry.

As reported in the Guardian earlier this year, the IWGB branch has seen rapid recent expansion following a series of high profile redundancies across the video game industry, including Microsoft's recent studio closures. The growth of the Game Workers branch, and expansion to include tabletop and board game workers, speaks to the growing necessity for collective action and ground-level support.

Colin Le Sueur, TTRPG designer and freelancer, says: "The tabletop industry is pretty small and dominated by big players. Having a place where you can find support and learn best practice from others in the industry is super important, especially in uncertain times when the actions of one massive company can have devastating effects on smaller creators."

Matt Sanders, TTRPG worker, says: “It's about time that the tabletop industry had a union to help it's often underpaid and overworked folks secure better conditions. I'm lucky to have landed in a position where I don't have these issues and now I'll be supporting securing that for more people.”

Austin Kelmore, chair of the IWGB Game Workers branch, says: "I think everyone should be in a union because we are stronger together than we are alone. As for how we will approach the tabletop industry, that's up to the members who are in the industry itself! Each industry and workplace is slightly different, so having the workers themselves lead the effort is one of the most important things for them to make the changes they most want."

For more information, please contact press@iwgb.co.uk.

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