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IGN Union Files Unfair Labor Practice Charge After Layoffs

UPDATE: In the wake of three employees being laid off, the IGN Creators Guild has filed an unfair labor practice charge with the NLRB and is currently in negotiations over the terms of the layoffs.

“On March 7, 2024, IGN Management blindsided the IGN Creators Guild with three layoffs,” the Guild said in a statement. “This decision was made despite the fact that the company is in no economic distress, and without consulting the union. This decision shocked us, given the fact that the company voluntarily recognized our guild. The company is claiming that these decisions were made prior to our recognition. Failing to approach us prior to the layoffs, and instead only choosing to bargain over the effects of said layoffs, is a massive breach of trust between union employees and management.”

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The Guild added, “We insist that IGN management bargain with us as a whole to begin to rebuild trust between the company and the guild. We are also demanding that IGN management do the right thing and give our impacted teammates the consideration — or at the very least the severance — that they deserve. We ask that you join us in doing the same.”

Last month, employees at IGN, the popular video game and entertainment media site, announced that they were unionizing with the NewsGuild-CWA labor union.

The IGN Creators Guild consists of editorial and creative workers at IGN, which is owned by digital media parent company Ziff Davis. The guild is currently made of over 80 employees, with 87% of the eligible members signing union authorization cards. The union will be fighting for better pay, layoff protections, measurable steps that increase staff diversity and more.

“I’ve seen what my colleagues are capable of, whether we’re producing content around blockbuster gaming and entertainment releases, spinning up massive live shows around tentpole industry events or staying abreast of the daily hum of popular culture, and it’s a constant reminder of what’s possible when this many smart and talented people work together,” said Max Scoville, senior producer and host at IGN, in a statement. “I’m immensely proud of this team, and want the best for all of us. IGN is already an industry leader in entertainment media, but it’s crucial that we ensure it also continues to be a bastion for the human beings who give it a voice.”

IGN has proven itself to be a go-to website for video game news and reviews. In addition to its widely read video game coverage, the site is also a mainstay on red carpets for popular movies and TV shows. The outlet says it has more than 51 million followers across all social platforms.

“IGN is an incredible place to work! But so many of the talented creators that make it so incredible need more support than they’re currently getting, especially when it comes to competitive pay and adequate time off,” said senior reporter Rebekah Valentine. “And at a time when our industry faces so much uncertainty amid mass layoffs and the rise of generative AI, it’s more important than ever for us to ensure IGN remains a great place to work not just today, but for the future IGN that doesn’t exist yet.”

The move to unionize comes amid widespread layoffs across the video game, entertainment and journalism industries. So far this year, there have been cutbacks at companies like the L.A. Times, Pitchfork, the Messenger, Sports Illustrated, Microsoft, Amazon and more.

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