The Riot employees who organized an outbreak to protest against the company's forced arbitrage policy are not yet ready. The management refused to issue the practice for employees who are currently involved in a process. Now heating organizers plan to further solve the problem by appealing to employees and presenting their arguments to the company's board of directors.
This most recent plan comes after the strike on May 6, with more than 150 employees gathering outside the developer's LA office. Employees who participated hope to end the current practice of forced company arbitration, a process whereby employees must resolve internal disputes rather than taking legal action from outside.
One organizer tells The edge because the company and its employees cannot reach agreement on the issue, "we call on the board to plead for us. Forced arbitration has been criticized and is being changed at a number of companies." Although the organizers originally intended to present the petition on Friday, they are now holding it while deciding how to deliver it.
"Riot has always strived to be at the forefront of game companies," says an excerpt from the petition, The edge. "We have also stated that we want to be a world leader in diversity and inclusion. To do both, we need to make shifts not only in our game production, but also in our employment practices. Making this change even when there are Being clear costs to the company unequivocally demonstrates Riot & # 39; s dedication to change itself, both for current and future rioters. "
Kotaku published a research report last year detailing sexism and discrimination within the company. At the moment, the fight against forced arbitration revolves around two women trying to take action against Riot because of gender discrimination. Jocelyn Monahan, one of the organizers of the strike, describes the time in Riot that is now being measured as "pre-Kotaku and postalKotaku" report.
"I think this specific series of actions has increased our attention to arbitration precisely because it is so clear, concrete something that can be changed to increase trust between employees and management here," she says. It is a simple step that can help women and minorities in Riot feel safer in their workplace.
The misery of Riot is well documented, but the problems are not unique in the game industry. Sexism, workplace abuse and general misconduct by the executive are a reality of gaming or larger technology companies. But workers protesting together have become a fire for industry, a public example of how unified workers can fight for their rights. Monahan says organizers want game developers in general to understand that they too can come together, negotiate together and help other employees who would otherwise feel isolated and without options.
"This is not about being anti-riot or not wanting to be here," says Monahan. "We do this because we deeply believe in Riot's mission and we love this place and we want to make cool things together. And we know we are part of Riot. & # 39;
As employees change more collectively and ask for change, an obvious question arises: is Riot considering unionization? According to Monahan, the strike was not a formal step towards a Riot union. "It's not your story of employee versus management," she says. Employees struggle internally to improve their business, but it is complicated.
"It is clear that [a strike is] a tactic that was used along the route to organizing a union. There are many obstacles to unionization in the gaming industry that I cannot handle as an organizer," she adds, pointing on issues such as contract labor. "We really need to solve a few of the specific problems before the conversation starts."
Arrived for comment, be a Riot spokesperson The edge to a blog post on the company's website that says "considering the complexity of the ongoing disputes", it would not turn employee agreements into active lawsuits. "We remain committed to providing a clear answer about extending an opt-out to all Rioters when active disputes decide," the message reads. At the very least, it says it will give new employees the chance to waive individual sexual harassment claims while the conversation continues.
"To be fair to the people who contributed to the transition and everyone who participated," said Riot spokesperson The edge, "I think it is very important to point out that although we have not changed the arbitration agreement, some of the other changes – such as the new commission we have established to regularly connect Rioters with leadership or allow Rioters to be part of reformulating the code of conduct – would not have happened without the strike. "
When asked whether Riot would reconsider his position on forced arbitration in connection with his ongoing disputes, the spokesperson said they did not want to speculate about the future. "We look forward to continuing to listen to and talk to Rioters on a range of topics, including arbitration."
Monahan says employees are divided over the company's decision to enforce forced arbitration in the event of ongoing disputes. Some are happy to let it rest, she says, because the company has promised changes in the future. Others are still committed to pushing management on this. Monahan and her co-organizers are not going to stop now. Public support, rather than boycotts, from players and employees in the gaming industry is the best scenario for those who want to support the people who fight back. Forced arbitration is a growing concern among employees who cite hypothetical situations or philosophical discussions about its impact.
Nothing is hypothetical for Riot employees. "There are current employees here who have to come to work and visualize the person they have publicly accused of misconduct," says Monahan The edge. "There are people here who are currently suffering." That Riot would refuse to step in because of active disputes, she says, feels like a mistake for those who have done wrong: Riot will "consider them a loss and sort of write" finish them off, "but better later.
"That is unacceptable," she says. "They have people they are supposed to protect that they suggest just writing off because it's too complex and that's shocking."