If Ubisoft thought that slashing more games, delaying others (like Skull & Bones), and promising “increased cautiousness over the coming years” would stave off a revolt among investors and workers, it was sorely mistaken. Following the company’s financial target downgrade last week, investors responded by exacerbating the drop in its already-flagging stock value – and now, workers are striking.
French Ubisoft Paris employees organize under the Solidaires Informatique Jeu Vidéo banner; they asserted yesterday that CEO Yves Guillemot’s goal to drastically cut costs will harm employees with “staff reductions, discreet studio closures, salary cuts, [and] disguised layoffs” as well as “overtime, managerial pressure, burnout […] without any compensation.” Paris division workers will therefore strike on January 27th barring Ubisoft’s acceptance of their demands: a 10% wage bump commensurate with inflation, a four-day work week, workforce transparency, and assurances that that company won’t abuse “disguised dismissals” to force resignations.
Of course, as the union reps note, Ubisoft just tried to divert responsibility for the company’s fate to those very workers. “The ball is in your court to deliver [the company’s] line-up on time and at the expected level of quality,” Guillemot warned workers in a staff email, asking them to be “efficient and lean.”
“The ball is in our court, but the money stays in his pockets,” the union reps shot back.
📢Ubisoft Paris – Appel à la grève
Vendredi 27 – après-midi
M. Guillemot veut mettre la pression à ses employés. Répondons lui par la grève. ✊
📢CALL TO STRIKE – FRIDAY 27th – Afternoon
M. Guillemot want to put pressure on the salaries. Let's strike. ✊ pic.twitter.com/1SaS5SdwFM
— Solidaires Informatique Jeu Vidéo (@SolInfoJeuVideo) January 17, 2023