Five weeks after BioWare QA contractors at Keywords Studios began unionizing, the Alberta Labour board announced that all 16 workers voted yes. The new union will begin bargaining this week, according to Polygon.
“We’re ecstatic,” James, a Keywords Studios employee, and organizing committee member told Polygon. “We’re super happy. It will assist us going forward into bargaining that the whole team is completely united on this effort. We’ve got a better chance of getting some better working conditions together.”
The team has received solidarity from other unions within the industry.
Keywords Studios and their BioWare QA team are part of an ongoing revolution in the gaming industry. Raven QA testers voted to unionize two weeks ago, despite current parent company Activision’s illegal threats. According to Xbox Head Phil Spencer, future Raven parent company, Microsoft, will recognize the union. Nintendo has also been in the news recently for attempts to prevent a worker’s right to organize.
Both Nintendo and Microsoft are clients that Keywords Studios supports. Ubisoft, Square Enix, Take-Two, and nearly every big-name publisher is included in their client list.
Keywords Studios released an official response regarding the BioWare QA unionization vote on their website, reading as follows:
Keywords Studios accept the vote of the 16 Edmonton staff who have chosen to unionize. We value our people and will continue to constantly strive to be a good employer. As an organization we want to ensure an engaging experience for all of our employees, and we take any concerns that our staff have seriously. We will continue to have an ongoing dialogue with all individuals in the Edmonton team, as we move forward together, always learning and improving.Source: Keywords Studios
The BioWare QA team at Keywords Studios supports Mass Effect: Legendary Edition and Star Wars: The Old Republic 7.0 DLC.