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Paizo Paizo Workers Unionize

The workers at Paizo, publisher of Pathfinder and Starfinder, have formed the United Paizo Workers union (UPW). The new union speaks of its love for the company, but cites a number of underlying issues including underpay, crunch conditions, and the recent allegations regarding the work environment made by former employee Jessica Price. They also bring up hiring practices, pay inequity, verbal...

The workers at Paizo, publisher of Pathfinder and Starfinder, have formed the United Paizo Workers union (UPW). The new union speaks of its love for the company, but cites a number of underlying issues including underpay, crunch conditions, and the recent allegations regarding the work environment made by former employee Jessica Price. They also bring up hiring practices, pay inequity, verbal abuse from management, and the covering up of harassment allegations.

The UPW is asking Paizo to recognize the union.

UPW Twitter Header.png


Redmond, WA (October 14th, 2021) — Today, the workers at Paizo, Inc - publisher of the Pathfinder and Starfinder roleplaying games - are announcing their formation of the United Paizo Workers union (UPW), with the Communication Workers of America’s CODE-CWA project. This union is the first of its kind in the tabletop roleplaying games industry.

“Unions have helped build a stronger working class in America and I’m proud to stand with United Paizo Workers. I believe that when we all work together, we’re better for it. Unionization allows workers to have a seat at the table and ensures that our voices and concerns are being heard and addressed so that all of Paizo can move forward for a positive future.” - Shay Snow, Editor

"I love my job. I love my coworkers, and I love the company I work for. I get to sell a game that I love to a community that I love. I come from a pro-union family, and I believe that unionizing Paizo will be the best way to protect the people, company, and community that I love, for now and going forward into the future." - Cosmo Eisele, Sales Manager

“My coworkers are amazing and so are the games we make together. I want Paizo to keep publishing Pathfinder and Starfinder content for years to come. This is my way of helping management improve our company culture, and by extension, the content we produce.” - Jenny Jarzabski, Starfinder Developer

“I proudly stand with my coworkers as we strive to help improve our workplace, and I believe the UPW will amplify our voices and assist with the changes we feel are necessary in making Paizo a more positive space for its employees.” - Logan Harper, Customer Service Representative

Paizo is one of the largest tabletop roleplaying publishers in the world, producing more than 10 hardcover books annually, along with numerous digital adventures and gaming accessories. Paizo also runs some of the most successful living campaigns in tabletop gaming history, with regular players in more than 36 countries. However, despite this success, Paizo’s workers are underpaid for their labor, required to live in one of the most expensive cities in the United States, and subjected to untenable crunch conditions on a regular basis.

Though efforts to organize by the Paizo workforce had already been underway for some time, the sudden departures of several long-standing employees in September and the subsequent allegations of managerial impropriety by former Paizo employees threw into stark relief the imbalance of the employer/employee relationship. These events, as well as internal conversations among Paizo workers, have uncovered a pattern of inconsistent hiring practices, pay inequity across the company, allegations of verbal abuse from executives and management, and allegations of harassment ignored or covered up by those at the top. These findings have further galvanized the need for clearer policies and stronger employee protections to ensure that Paizo staff can feel secure in their employment.

Changes have been promised, internally and externally, by the executive team. However, the only way to ensure that all workers’ voices are heard is collective action. It is in this spirit that the workers of Paizo have united to push for real changes at the company. The UPW is committed to advocating on behalf of all staffers, and invites all eligible Paizo employees to join in the push for better, more sustainable working conditions. The union requests the broad support of the tabletop community in urging Paizo management to voluntarily recognize the United Paizo Workers, and to negotiate in good faith with the union so that both may build a better workplace together.

For more information, please contact the Organizing Committee at committee@unitedpaizoworkers.org

Raychael Allor, Customer Service Representative

Brian Bauman, Software Architect

Logan Bonner, Pathfinder Lead Designer

Robert Brandenburg, Software Developer

James Case, Pathfinder Game Designer

John Compton, Starfinder Senior Developer

Katina Davis, Webstore Coordinator

David "Cosmo" Eisele, Sales Manager

Heather Fantasia, Customer Service Representative

Eleanor Ferron, Pathfinder Developer

Keith Greer, Customer Service Representative

Logan Harper, Customer Service Representative

Sasha "Mika" Hawkins, Sales and E-Commerce Assistant

Jenny Jarzabski, Starfinder Developer

Erik Keith, Software Test Engineer

Mike Kimmel, Organized Play Line Developer

Avi Kool, Senior Editor

Maryssa Lagervall, Web Content Manager

Luis Loza, Pathfinder Developer

Joe Pasini, Starfinder Lead Designer

Austin Phillips, Customer Service Representative

Lee Rucker, Project Coordinator

Sol St. John, Editor

Michael Sayre, Pathfinder Designer

Shay Snow, Editor

Alex Speidel, Organized Play Coordinator

Levi Steadman, Software Test Engineer

Gary Teter, Senior Software Developer

Josh Thornton, Systems Administrator II

Jake Tondro, Senior Developer

Andrew White, Front End Engineering Lead



In Solidarity:

Thurston Hillman, Digital Adventures Developer
 

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JThursby

Adventurer
I mean, it's still the #2 RPG out there by the sales stats we know. This whole narrative reminds me of the "Is 5E a failure?" stuff that was all around in 2015 and 2016. It seems to be more wishcasting than actual fact.
Agreed. It's exhausting when every discussion of 2e and Paizo anywhere on this board becomes a debate about how hard Paizo is "losing" in sales based solely on some graphs from the Orr group. Same goes for fights about 4e; it's been almost a decade, please just let it rest guys.
Whether a company is progressive on cultural issues and how they treat their workers overall are two often quite separate things.
Absolutely. And it's funny, on here and Twitter people complain about Paizo products not being progressive enough, on /tg/ and Reddit they complain that Paizo products are too progressive. There's no winning. The setting/adventure writers should just write what they want because trying to please the entire internet is a fool's errand.
 

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Eltab

Lord of the Hidden Layer
If nothing else, Paizo's management should now be clear that there is a problem and trying to evade or minimize it will be a threat to the Company.

I also am union-skeptical, but the presence of a union does mean that management cannot ignore a subject the union thinks is important.
 



Urriak Uruk

Gaming is fun, and fun is for everyone
Only on the Orr Report, and that's basically closer to a category than a specific set of rules. You look up sales rank on Amazon, and just about every other RPG is behind them save for the occasional sales spike.

Don't know what an Orr report is, but CoC is more than three times as popular than Pathfinder on Roll20.


Also I did not know CoC was so popular in Japan, that's pretty surprising.
 




Don't know what an Orr report is, but CoC is more than three times as popular than Pathfinder on Roll20.


Also I did not know CoC was so popular in Japan, that's pretty surprising.

That's what I'm referencing (the report you're linking to is released by the Orr Group which I think owns Roll20). And again, "Call of Cthulhu" is any edition, so we're talking a whole collection of games.

But we've done this before. You can look up a thread a while back and see that even while the pandemic hurt the stock of the PF2 Core, it outsold any RPG that wasn't under the 5E brand.

Is that really, though?

I mean, they made a Nyarlathotep anime. Then again, they make animes about everything.
 

Urriak Uruk

Gaming is fun, and fun is for everyone
That's what I'm referencing (the report you're linking to is released by the Orr Group which I think owns Roll20). And again, "Call of Cthulhu" is any edition, so we're talking a whole collection of games.

But we've done this before. You can look up a thread a while back and see that even while the pandemic hurt the stock of the PF2 Core, it outsold any RPG that wasn't under the 5E brand.



I mean, they made a Nyarlathotep anime. Then again, they make animes about everything.

Well, I don't want to go thread digging, but if there are sales numbers that show this, I'd like to see them. Googling didn't really help.

It wouldn't really surprise me if PF was number 1, I just can't find anything that actually proves that (at least for 2020).
 

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