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As reported by Kotaku, an application filed with the Alberta Labor Relations Board on April 20 confirms that Keywords Studios staff at the Edmonton office is preparing for a union vote.
“United Food and Commercial Workers Canada Union, Local No. 401 applied under the Labor Relations Code to become the certified bargaining agent for a unit of employees of Keywords Studios B.C., Inc. compromising: All employees employed in development support at the BioWare office in Edmonton,” the application reads, which was shared on Reddit.
Solidarity to BioWare QA from everyone at Raven QA! https://t.co/uogQHs7mE8
— Game Workers Alliance 💙#WeAreGWA (@WeAreGWA) April 25, 2022
Keywords Studios is a video games services company responsible for contracting companies involved in art, localization and QA. The Keywords staff at the Edmonton headquarters that have filed the unionization application is known for being the studio behind the Mass Effect and Dragon Age games, as well as other RPG titles.
As the application indicates, if the Alberta Labor Relations Board finds it meets the Code’s requirements, including the union having at least 40 per cent support from employees in the proposed bargaining unit, “it may conduct a secret ballot representation vote.”
Employees who have any objections to the application must file with the Board in writing. They will have until May 3 to file their objections.
This isn’t the first video game studio to file for unionization. Raven Software, the studio behind Call Of Duty: Warzone, has been battling to unionize for several months after Activision Blizzard laid-off employees in December 2021.
Just last week (April 23), it was announced that the National Labour Relations Board (NLRB) ruled that Raven Software quality assurance (QA) staff at Activision Blizzard were eligible for a union election.