French Ubisoft employees push for strike and raises after CEO comments

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(Image credit: Ubisoft)

In response to controversial comments from Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot, a French union representing Ubisoft employees is calling for a strike in support of 10% raises and a four-day work week.

Ubisoft was "clearly disappointed" by the results in its latest financial report, which saw the company confirm the cancellation of three unannounced projects and reveal yet another delay for Skull & Bones. In the wake of that report, CEO Yves Guillemot sent an email to staff (via Kotaku (opens in new tab)) asking them to "be especially careful and strategic with your spending and initiatives, to ensure we’re being as efficient and lean as possible."

According to French union Solidaires Informatique (via GamesIndustry.biz (opens in new tab)), which represents employees at Ubisoft Paris, "Mr. Guillemot is trying to shift the blame (once again) onto the employees; he expects us to be mobilized, to 'give it our all', to be 'as efficient and lean as possible'. These words mean something: overtime, managerial pressure, burnout, etc."

Solidaires Informatique is making four demands (opens in new tab) on Ubisoft, including "an immediate 10% increase for all salaries, regardless of annual increases, to compensate for inflation. With the hundreds of millions of euros obtained from Tencent, there is money in the coffers of the employers."

The union is also calling for a four-day work week, "transparency on the evolution of the workforce," and "a strong commitment against disguised dismissals and a condemnation of abusive managerial policies that push employees to resign".

In support of those demands, Solidaires Informatique is asking Ubisoft Paris employees to go on strike for four hours on the afternoon of Friday, January 27.

The North American game industry's first unions have begun to form at companies like Activision Blizzard and Microsoft, but many European game devs have had union representation for years.

Dustin Bailey
Staff Writer

Dustin Bailey joined the GamesRadar team as a Staff Writer in May 2022, and is currently based in Missouri. He's been covering games (with occasional dalliances in the worlds of anime and pro wrestling) since 2015, first as a freelancer, then as a news writer at PCGamesN for nearly five years. His love for games was sparked somewhere between Metal Gear Solid 2 and Knights of the Old Republic, and these days you can usually find him splitting his entertainment time between retro gaming, the latest big action-adventure title, or a long haul in American Truck Simulator.