Let’s start here: thank you all, so much. We cannot begin to express our gratitude for the absolutely overwhelming deluge of support over the past 24 hours. We knew when we announced, the community would rally behind us, because our community rules. What we couldn’t anticipate was the sheer amount of support that came pouring in from all sides. All of us have spent the past 24 hours sharing articles, tweets, messages of solidarity, and excellent memes with each other. It’s been an incredible time for us.
What Happens Now
First of all, for those curious: we have not heard anything from the executives yet, but that’s not unexpected. This likely took them by surprise, and we’re sure they’re having discussions both amongst themselves and with experts to figure out how to respond. We look forward to hearing from them soon, but we absolutely know it’ll take a bit of time. We’re willing to be patient at this stage.
One common thing that started to bubble up after the initial wave of congratulations came through was the question of what exactly happens now. Are we a union? What’s standing between us and that step? Many following our progress may not be familiar with the process of forming a union, so just as promised, we’re gonna talk about it!
There are two paths to recognition from here:
Option the first: The executives voluntarily recognize our union.
Option the second: They do not, and we proceed to a National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) election.
If we are voluntarily recognized (the preferred scenario), we are immediately a legally protected union. We are no longer at-will employees and cannot be unjustly disciplined or fired. At this stage, we elect our bargaining committee and begin negotiations on a contract, based on financial information provided to us by Paizo leadership. This is absolutely what we want, and what we hope will happen, so that we can continue making the games we love at a fair wage, with equitable treatment across the board.
Alternatively, it is possible that the executives will attempt to bust the union and force us to an election. We’ve already filed the paperwork with the National Labor Relations Board (thanks to the Communication Workers of America for their efforts on this, by the way!), so now it just takes time for the NLRB to process that and set up the election. If this happens, we’ll have a mail-in election to determine whether to ratify the union. If this passes with 50%+1 eligible employees voting for the union (and it will!), management will be required to recognize us as a union and begin negotiations, same as above.
During this window, which would likely be a couple of months, management could try to union-bust using any number of tactics intended to convince us that we don’t need a union, that it will actually be a harm to our workplace, and that the UPW doesn’t have our best interests at heart. These are absolutely untrue, and we will be sure to counter any such messages. Ultimately, we’re standing strong in this together, because kobolds together are strong!
What To Do
You’ve all done an incredible job of supporting us thus far! If you’d like to continue (and we certainly hope you will!), here are a few things we’re asking of our supporters:
- Social media: Retweet the messages from @PaizoWorkers, use the hashtag #UnionizePaizo, and just generally share the message! Talk about what having a union in the industry would mean to you, and hey, if you talk up our products too, we won’t complain. Not to brag, but we think our games are pretty good!
- We’ve also got a community pack of logos and profile picture frames; we love seeing those purple borders around, so if you haven’t already, grab ‘em and update your profiles to show your support. If there’s an image you want but that we don’t have yet, let us know and we’ll see what we can do!
- Write an email to the executives expressing your support for us! Let them know what our products mean to you, and how much you look forward to supporting a union shop. There are a few good templates floating around, but feel free to make them your own. If you recently cancelled orders or subscriptions but will renew if the union is recognized, definitely let Paizo leadership know.
- We’ve had an absolutely incredible response to our merch as well, and personally we think it’s hard to be more stylish than while wearing a union shirt. So, y’know, check that out; all proceeds go to covering website server costs and any other expenses incurred. We’re also looking at ways for you to contribute that don’t require accumulating stuff, so stay tuned for that!
- Finally, be sure to take care of yourselves and each other. Ultimately, that’s what a union is: collective care and support. Lift each other up, check in with your friends, and remember that we’re in this for the long haul. We love you all so much.
We’ve had some great press coverage so far. Here’s a roundup!
- ENworld: Paizo Workers Unionize
- Dicebreaker: Workers at Pathfinder publisher Paizo have announced the formation of the United Paizo Workers union
- Polygon: Workers at Paizo unionize, a first for the tabletop role-playing game industry
- Kotaku: The People Who Make Pathfinder Are Forming Tabletop RPG’s First Big Union
- ScreenRant: Pathfinder Studio Staff Form Tabletop Game Developer Union
Thanks to all the great media outlets that have provided coverage of our organization effort so far. Did we miss an article? Are you writing one that you’d like to see featured here, or want to talk to union members about the effort? Please let us know at email@example.com !
Once again, thank you all so much. We can’t do this without you. Keep supporting one another, and we’ll see you real soon.
–The 35+ members of the United Paizo Workers