Employees at Pathfinder Publisher Paizo Unionize
Over 30 employees at Paizo, the publisher of tabletop roleplaying games Pathfinder and Starfinder, have announced that they have formed United Paizo Workers, a new union. The union was formed after a series of incidents in recent weeks, which included the firing of community manager Sara Marie and both current and former employees bringing light to a number of allegations and stories of alleged poor worker treatment. A hashtag, #PaizoAccountability, was used to raise awareness of these issues and Paizo's management posted multiple responses about many of the allegations.
A new Twitter account, @PaizoWorkers, announced the formation of the union earlier this week, with many employees of the company changing their Twitter profile pictures to match the logo of the new union. In its opening statement, the union organizers claimed that "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." And while Paizo's management had made both public and private promises of change, the employees believed that collective action was needed to ensure that their voices were heard. "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."
United Paizo Workers called on Paizo's management to voluntarily recognize the union and move to collective bargaining. If Paizo's management does not comply with that request, the National Labor Relation Board will call for an election, a process that could take several months to complete. Per the union, United Paizo Workers already has enough a high enough percentage of Paizo's eligible workforce to guarantee that the union will have to be recognized.
Per a statement by Jason Tondro, senior developer for both Pathfinder and Starfinder, 40 of Paizo's freelancers have also endorsed the United Paizo Workers union. In the week of last month's #PaizoAccountability discussion, a number of freelancers refused to continue certain projects until Paizo met certain demands, including the hiring of a Diversity Officer. In light of the union's organization, the freelancers have agreed to return to their projects if Paizo recognizes the union.
As of press time, Paizo has not provided a comment on the union's formation.