Bioware quality assurance testers are working on Dragon Age: Dreadwolf have voted to form first syndicated a job for the video game industry in Canada. United Food and Commercial Workers Local 401 is applying to become a Certified Negotiating Agent for Keywords Studios, the contracting company through which testers are hired, back in April. Now, Cat says the election led to a 16-0 vote in favor of unification. Before working on the fourth big game in Dragon Age franchise, they also supported the development of Mass Effect: Legendary edition and The legacy of the Sithextension for Star Wars: The Old Republic.
The testers, who work from BioWare’s Edmonton office, began to get organized after Keywords Studios announced they would have to return to the office, while BioWare’s direct staff provided more opportunities. Keywords returned his order to return to the office, but testers said Cat that they are working to prevent his recovery and get the company to increase their pay. Currently, their basic salary is about $ 13 per hour, roughly equivalent to the minimum wage in the area. They argue that the amount they are paid is not commensurate with the skills needed to work, and that BioWare employees who do the same work get much more.
The union, which now represents workers, is expected to bargain with studio bosses sometime this week. In an email sent by QA testers, they wrote: “We are excited to move to an agreement with the employer and start a fairer work situation.”
In the United States, QA employees at the Activision Blizzard Raven Software studio voted in favor of unionization last month. This came after they went on strike after layoffs that affected 12 testers, and after the studio divided other workers between different departments, perhaps in an attempt to make union efforts difficult to organize. Xbox chief Phil Spencer has announced that Microsoft will recognize the alliance after technology giant acquires Activision Blizzard.
All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, regardless of our parent company. Some of our stories involve partnerships. If you buy something through one of these links, we can earn a partner commission.