Paizo Paizo Recognizes Union!

The ‘will they, won’t they?’ conjecture around whether or not Paizo would voluntarily recognise the new United Paizo Workers union was mercifully short. Paizo today announced that it would work with the union to improve working conditions at the company.

United Paizo Workers consists of more than 30 employees, and was formed to address allegations of pay inequity, verbal abuse, and poor working conditions.

This also means that the group of 40 or so freelancers who ceased work for the company will likely return to work now that their demand that Paizo recognize the union has been met.

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October 21, 2021 (Redmond, WA) -
Paizo is pleased to announce it has voluntarily recognized the United Paizo Workers union, which is affiliated with the Communications Workers of America (CWA).

“We look forward to working with the union to continue and expand our efforts to make Paizo a better place to work and to ensure that Pathfinder and Starfinder products continue to exceed gamer expectations for many years to come,” said Jeff Alvarez, President of Paizo.

The next steps will involve the United Paizo Workers (UPW) union electing their bargaining representatives and then meeting with Paizo management to negotiate terms for a collective bargaining agreement. We expect this process to take some time, but we are committed to the effort and hope to settle a contract in due course. Until an agreement is reached, the Paizo staff continues to focus on creating amazing Pathfinder and Starfinder products.

Paizo has always been about creating awesome games, and we look forward to the changes that unionization will bring to the company. Please join us on this journey by following the UPW on Twitter and stay tuned for future updates!
 
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Russ Morrissey

Russ Morrissey

Nilbog

Snotling Herder
The amount of fawning praise Paizo is getting on Twitter for doing the bare minimum is astounding.

I mean it seems like working conditions at Paizo weren't great (just how bad we can't be certain) and yeah they may have been backed into a corner somewhat, but they do seem to be reacting in as good a way as possible, while as mentioned above many companies wouldn't. So I guess as much as they deserved criticism for the initial issues they deserve praise for the response.
Time will tell if they genuinely mean it or if it's a token effort.
Hopefully if sales go up they'll realise being ethical is the best way forward and it's a win for everyone.
 

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glass

(he, him)
As a non USA type, this isn't even news. Company recognises Union, yeah that's a legal requirement in the civilised world!
AIUI (IANAL, or an american), it is a legal requirement in the USA too, eventually. But they can "voluntarily" accept it right away, or decline to do that and make the union force their hand. The stereotypical american company does the latter; Paizo did the former.

That’s right, this really should be like “let’s move on, there’s nothing to see here”.
It should be, but in the world we actually live in it is still good news.

The Union was recognized? Props go to the Union. If things actually improve at Paizo? Again, the Union will get my praise, not the company. Any good that results from labor struggle is the achievement of the laborers, not the bosses.
Paizo management have acted better than expected, which admittedly is a pretty low bar.

_
glass.
 

MGibster

Legend
As a non USA type, this isn't even news. Company recognises Union, yeah that's a legal requirement in the civilised world!
It's a legal requirement in the United States as well. However, Paizo recognized the union before they were legally required to do so. i.e. Before the National Labor Relations Board conducted a secret ballot election giving the workers an opportunity to vote yes or no on the union. In cases where you hear a US company doesn't recognize a union, it's because the formal vote hasn't happened yet. And in cases of larger companies, such as Walmart, they can afford to shut down an entire store if it seems likely the workers will vote yes. In the case of Amazon, the last time they had a vote at one of their locations the workers voted no.
 

FoolishFrost

Adventurer
I want to just point out something tangent to this.

If people/companies admit to mistakes, or do the right thing after, and we either figuratively shoot them in the face/mock them for doing the bare minimum…

That‘s NOT going to encourage the behavior we want.

Companies and corporations are made of people. Not actually people themselves. There will always be good and bad people in them, yes. The majority of them just are not really either, and are just trying to get by.

Not saying we should not take the bad to task for being bad, but let them have the good too.
 

callinostros

Explorer
I am sadly amused by all the people downplaying the fact Paizo recognized the Union. What more did people want? If they didn't recognize the union, people would be upset. If they do recognize the union, people are upset. There is this maxim that you applaud the actions you want to see, heck it's an old technique for DMs to use on their players. Applaud them for recognizing the union...then hold them accountable.
 

Staffan

Legend
I am sadly amused by all the people downplaying the fact Paizo recognized the Union. What more did people want? If they didn't recognize the union, people would be upset. If they do recognize the union, people are upset. There is this maxim that you applaud the actions you want to see, heck it's an old technique for DMs to use on their players. Applaud them for recognizing the union...then hold them accountable.
Recognizing the union is a great first step, and should be rewarded (I'm gonna get me some PDFs on Monday when my paycheck comes in). But after that, the difficult part begins, with negotiating a collective bargaining agreement and seeing how they handle the concrete grievances.
 


ECMO3

Hero
If things actually improve at Paizo?
This is key. Has anything changed at the company? Will anything change? Unlikely in my opinion.

I am still not going to buy Paizo products and that decision has nothing to do with the Union, the company or the alleged unethical behavior. It has to do with the fact that I don't particularly like their products.
 



MGibster

Legend
Since Friday?
I wonder if all this access we have via Twitter, Facebook, EN World, etc., etc. has skewed our expectations. Personally, I was surprised at how quickly we went from the announcement that there was going to be an attempt to form a union to the announcement that Paizo now recognized the union. That was quick! But now we expect instantaneous responses and action. You don't typically change pay structure or working conditions overnight, folks. Give them another 13 hours at least.
 

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
I wonder if all this access we have via Twitter, Facebook, EN World, etc., etc. has skewed our expectations. Personally, I was surprised at how quickly we went from the announcement that there was going to be an attempt to form a union to the announcement that Paizo now recognized the union. That was quick! But now we expect instantaneous responses and action. You don't typically change pay structure or working conditions overnight, folks. Give them another 13 hours at least.
And probably not outside office hours.
 

ECMO3

Hero
Since Friday?
What has happened to warrant people being excited about it.

This is my point. Paizo is the same place to work it was a week ago and many of the union members are most assuredly some of the same people causing some of the alleged and widely talked about problems.
 

What has happened to warrant people being excited about it.

This is my point. Paizo is the same place to work it was a week ago and many of the union members are most assuredly some of the same people causing some of the alleged and widely talked about problems.

I mean, people are excited because this step makes it feel like they can legitimately solve those problems in a way that they simply wouldn't have been able to in the past. There are reasons to be cautious, but at the same time read the room and let people be happy with what's happened so far. It's a big first step, even if it's only the first step.
 

the_redbeard

Explorer
It's a legal requirement in the United States as well. However, Paizo recognized the union before they were legally required to do so. i.e. Before the National Labor Relations Board conducted a secret ballot election giving the workers an opportunity to vote yes or no on the union. In cases where you hear a US company doesn't recognize a union, it's because the formal vote hasn't happened yet. And in cases of larger companies, such as Walmart, they can afford to shut down an entire store if it seems likely the workers will vote yes. In the case of Amazon, the last time they had a vote at one of their locations the workers voted no.
But to put it in context, MOST US companies spend the time between discovering the union effort and the NLRB election in discrediting the union, harassing pro-union employees (or even creating pretexts to fire them), making unenforceable promises that "we've heard you, we'll do better", or pleading "we're a family, we don't need an outside partner" type garbage. They might fire a problem manager or change some awful practice, anything to maintain their absolute power over the workers.

I've been a union organizer. I've told people what their rights were, and I told them to be extra careful that the employer might fire them even tho it is illegal. And then I've seen employers fire the people that listened to me. I've bought them groceries while I tried to help them find a new job. Of course we document and bring their cases to the NLRB, but that's a months long process.

But I know what is possible when the workers are united. I'm just a union member now, and have never had a job or benefits this good.

edit: I removed the word "naughty word"
 


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