Xbox's first union begins contract bargaining

The Elder Scrolls Online
(Image credit: Bethesda)

ZeniMax Workers United, a union representing over 300 QA workers, has announced that it is entering into contract bargaining with Microsoft and ZeniMax. 

In a tweet, the union said that "today, we are excited to announce that ZeniMax Workers United of CWA have started our first day of bargaining for our first ever contract with ZeniMax and Microsoft! IN SOLIDARITY!"

ZeniMax Workers United was formed in December 2022. In January the group announced that a supermajority of ZeniMax QA employees had voted in favor of the union, and that Microsoft had officially recognized the body. The contract bargaining beginning today will set the terms of the benefits offered to employees represented by the union.

ZeniMax is the parent company of several of the most beloved studios now under the Microsoft banner, including the developers behind Fallout, The Elder Scrolls, Wolfenstein, Doom, Ghostwire Tokyo, Hi-Fi Rush, Dishonored, and Redfall.

We obviously won't know the terms of the union contract until the bargaining is done, but the CODE branch of the CWA - a union group that has been involved with several of the recent organizing efforts in the US games industry - has previously noted that it would like to secure protections for members against things like the mass layoffs Microsoft made earlier this year.

That's not the only big game industry unionization news this week. Yesterday, the Allied Employees Guild Improving Sega - or AEGIS - announced its formation. The union said it intends to seek higher base pay, better benefits, clearer opportunities for promotion, and better work balance. Sega of America has not yet recognized AEGIS.

Activision Blizzard workers formed the first major US games union last year.

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.