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BioWare QA team unanimously voted to form a federation

BioWare QA team unanimously voted to form a federation

A team of quality assurance (QA) contractors, working closely with EA-owned studio BioWare, have voted unanimously (16 to 0) to form a consortium. The workers are employed by the Edmonton, Canada-based branch of Keyword Studio, making them the nation's first union in the games industry.

Signs of unionization first surfaced in April, with contractors citing the need to return to work in the office — even as other full-time BioWare workers had the option of working from home — as part of their organizing decision. In form of. as a reason behind. Keyword Studio has since reversed this policy and is giving all employees the hybrid option of working from home. Workers also take issue with Keyword's time-off policy and pay, which reportedly starts at $15 CAD (about $12 USD) – the minimum wage in Canada.

A statement on Keyword Studio's site said the company would "accept" workers' choice to unionize. "As an organization we want to ensure an engaging experience for all of our employees, and we take any concerns seriously," the statement said. “We will continue to have an ongoing dialogue with everyone on the Edmonton team, always learning and improving as we move forward together.”

Now organized contractors have worked on several BioWare titles, such as Mass Effect Legendary Edition and Star Wars: The Old Republic Expansion. They are currently working on the upcoming Dragon Age: Dreadwolf.

“While the unionization of Keyword Studio employees in Edmonton does not include BioWare employees, we want to be clear that we at EA respect the right to process and select workers,” Lacey Haines, EA’s director of corporate communications, said in a statement. Told. said in. ,

The union marks a milestone in Canada and follows a recent push to unionize video game workers. Vidio Games Studio employees voted last December to form the first union for video game studios in North America, including QA workers at Activision Blizzard's Raven Software in May.

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