15 October 2021
#UnionizePaizo comes to fruition
Yesterday, a group of 31 workers at Paizo Inc (creators of Starfinder and Pathfinder, amongst others) formed the United Paizo Workers union (UPW), with the Communication Workers of America’s CODE-CWA project and is being stated as the first of its kind in Tabletop Roleplaying Games. The formation is not in direct response to earlier departures of big name Paizo employees, or the subsequent and separate #PaizoAccountability hashtag but its statement confirmed this contributed to it. Instead, it is in response to alleged conditions – from crunch to internal abuse.
Hi everybody. We’re 30+ members of the Paizo staff, and today we’re announcing that we have formed the United Paizo Workers, one of the first unions of its kind in the tabletop game industry. #UnionizePaizo— United Paizo Workers (@PaizoWorkers) October 14, 2021
"Though efforts to organize by the Paizo workforce had already been underway for some time, the sudden departures of several long-standing employees in September and the subsequent allegations of managerial impropriety by former Paizo employees threw into stark relief the imbalance of the employer/employee relationship. These events, as well as internal conversations among Paizo workers, have uncovered a pattern of inconsistent hiring practices, pay inequity across the company, allegations of verbal abuse from executives and management, and allegations of harassment ignored or covered up by those at the top. These findings have further galvanized the need for clearer policies and stronger employee protections to ensure that Paizo staff can feel secure in their employment.", UPW state.
UPW insist in various ways that their intentions are in support of Paizo, wanting them to succeed, with statements of agreement from specific employees, however consider a single voice of a union can offer clearer and more direct methods of communicating concerns with management.
It goes on to state "Changes have been promised, internally and externally, by the executive team. However, the only way to ensure that all workers’ voices are heard is collective action. It is in this spirit that the workers of Paizo have united to push for real changes at the company."
Paizo management has not issued a statement in response to this as yet, and the Union has not formally been recognised by Paizo at this stage. You can read more about it and choose to support on the UPW website.