Ubisoft introduced final week that it isn’t having a great 2023 (opens in new tab) thus far. Cranium and Bones was delayed once more, however extra severely, the corporate’s incapability to launch video games that anybody cares about has brought about critical monetary bleeding. Now Ubisoft is going through much more complications, because the Solidaires Informatique union has called for a strike (opens in new tab) at Ubisoft Paris on January 27.
A strike may appear to be an odd response to being instructed the corporate is in hassle—exterior of France, at the least. It arises from statements made by Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot, who mentioned in final week’s replace that the corporate is trying to lower €200 million ($215 million) in bills over the subsequent two years via “focused restructuring, divesting some non-core belongings, and ordinary pure attrition.”
In a follow-up e mail to Ubisoft workers reported by Kotaku (opens in new tab), Guillemot instructed employees that he wants their “full power and dedication to make sure we get again on the trail to success,” including, “I’m additionally asking that every of you be particularly cautious and strategic together with your spending and initiatives, to make sure we’re being as environment friendly and lean as potential.”
These phrases attracted the ire of Solidaires Informatique, which referred to as Guillemot’s feedback “catastrophic” and accused the CEO of planning “workers reductions, discreet studio closures, wage cuts, [and] disguised layoffs.”
“On a number of events, Mr. Guillemot is making an attempt to shift the blame (as soon as once more) onto the workers; he expects us to be mobilized, to ‘give it our all,’ to be ‘as environment friendly and lean as potential’,” the union wrote in its strike name. “These phrases imply one thing: time beyond regulation, managerial stress, burnout, and many others. Mr Guillemot asks lots from his workers, however with none compensation.”
The studio mentioned salaries at Ubisoft have did not sustain with inflation, that the corporate has not carried out a four-day work week (Ubisoft reportedly experimented (opens in new tab) with a 36-hour work week in 2021 however declined to hold on with it), and that there aren’t any protections in place for “exhausted” dev groups after their tasks are accomplished.
The union is thus making 4 calls for:
- An instantaneous 10% enhance for all salaries, no matter annual will increase, to compensate for inflation. With the a whole bunch of thousands and thousands of euros obtained from Tencent (opens in new tab), there’s cash within the coffers of the employers.
- The development of working circumstances, specifically, the implementation of the four-day week.
- Transparency on the evolution of the workforce, each domestically and globally.
- A powerful dedication in opposition to disguised dismissals and condemnation of abusive managerial insurance policies that push workers to resign.
“And since Mr. Guillemot and his clique solely perceive the connection of energy, Solidaires Informatique is asking on the workers of Ubisoft Paris to go on strike on Friday 27 January within the afternoon, from 2 to six pm,” the union wrote.
📢Ubisoft Paris – Appel à la grèveVendredi 27 – après-midiM. Guillemot veut mettre la pression à ses employés. Répondons lui par la grève. ✊📢CALL TO STRIKE – FRIDAY twenty seventh – AfternoonM. Guillemot need to put stress on the salaries. Let’s strike. ✊ pic.twitter.com/1SaS5SdwFMJanuary 17, 2023
The decision for a strike is restricted to Ubisoft Paris, fairly than the corporate as a complete, as a result of Solidaires Informatique (opens in new tab) is a French commerce union with a chapter on the Paris studio (and quite a few different tech firms in France) however not others. This is not the primary time it is taken motion in opposition to Ubisoft: In 2021, the union filed authorized motion in opposition to Ubisoft over allegations of “institutional sexual harassment (opens in new tab),” and later that yr it criticized Ubisoft’s plans to maneuver into NFTs (opens in new tab) as “ineffective, expensive, [and] ecologically mortifying.”
I’ve reached out to Ubisoft for touch upon the strike name and can replace if I obtain a reply.