Paradox Interactive has announced that the company will enter into a collective bargaining agreement with unions. Swedish labor unions Unionen and SACO will be supporting. The two unions will support employees who wish to enter their membership and represent the workers in deliberations with bosses.
“In the 20-plus years we’ve been in operation, Paradox has always been a growing company, but that growth has been especially dramatic in the last few years,” said Marina Hedman, Chief Human Resources Officer at Paradox Interactive. “An organization of our size has different needs, and we must ensure that our employees continue to feel valued and empowered to shape our company, even as our structure shifts towards larger teams and projects. We’re proud, both as a Swedish company and as a member of the games industry, to add our name to the roster of companies who support unionization.”
The Swedish Confederation of Professional Associations (Swedish: Sveriges Akademikers Centralorganisation, SACO) is one of the larger union confederations for college and university-educated professionals in Sweden. With 25 member unions and more than 550,000 members, it represents some 18% of Swedish union membership. Unionen is the biggest trade union in Sweden and the biggest white-collar union in the world. It has more than 600,000 members.
Paradox Interactive wants people to be more aware of their rights and the need for unions. The gaming industry has fought a long and hard battle against crunch since its inception. And with this agreement, at least one major studio is working toward changing that. According to employees at the studio, and likely all over the world, the times they are a-changin’.
“Much like Paradox itself, the unions here have been growing massively in the past few years, gradually becoming more and more organized. This is a clear sign that our efforts have resulted in meaningful change. We’re very glad that the company agrees with us on the benefits of a collective agreement and that we’re signing this together,” said Magne Skjæran, Games Programmer at Paradox Development Studio and Union Representative for Unionen. “With this agreement in place, we will be further empowered to advocate for our members here at Paradox, and contribute to making it the best place to work in the industry. We hope it will inspire people to organize in video game companies the world over.”
Going further, Paradox has said that they are “very much open to similar agreements with other studios in the states and elsewhere.”