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Australian Games Industry to Establish First Union

Game Workers Australia will be the country's first video game-focused union.
Game Workers Australia will be the country's first video game-focused union. / Photo courtesy of Game Workers Australia

Game Workers Unite Australia has announced it will transition from a support organization to a full union next year, forming the country's first video game industry union.

GWUA had previously supported workers looking to join other unions, mainly by informing workers which unions they were eligible to join and providing information about how to join. Those unions were typically either the larger umbrella union Professionals Australia or the Media, Entertainment & Arts Alliance, neither of which focused specifically on video games.

In its new iteration, the GWUA will change its name to Game Workers Australia and function as "an all-new division of Professionals Australia." Games workers will now be able to join a single, focused union that provides them collective bargaining leverage to secure better pay, better working conditions and more in their chosen field.

The new Game Workers Australia will still offer the services it provided prior to becoming a full-fledged union,

"But with the power of Professionals Australia behind us, we'll be able to do so much more – take legal action to defend our members against underpayments, discrimination and bullying, organise collective agreements at workplaces, and lobby governments and industry on an equal playing field with studio owners and publishers," reads the organization's announcement.

GWA doesn't have an exact launch date for the union, estimating March 2022 but falling short of a firm commitment. Those interested in joining can join GWUA to stay abreast of developments.

Read the full announcement below.

Next year, GWU Australia will re-launch as Game Workers Australia: an all-new division of Professionals Australia with a tiered membership package just for game workers.

By becoming a member of the newly formed Game Workers Australia, you’ll become a formal trade union member of Professionals Australia and have access to support, services and solidarity that will help you at your workplace. 

We will retain our free membership tier, and continue to offer the same assistance that we currently offer to anyone in need who approaches us. 

But with the power of Professionals Australia behind us, we’ll be able to do so much more – take legal action to defend our members against underpayments, discrimination and bullying, organise collective agreements at workplaces, and lobby governments and industry on an equal playing field with studio owners and publishers.

We’re yet to nail down exactly when Game Workers Australia will launch. You can register your interest to become a member, or stay informed about the latest news, by clicking here

Want to do more than just wait? You can join GWU Australia now (it’s free!) to be in on the ground floor as this transformation happens.

Currently, we are hoping to launch in March 2022. Watch this space!