On Thursday, Nov. 30, 2023 the workers at Experis Game Solutions, a subsidiary of ManpowerGroup, Inc., voted to unionize with the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) District 10 by a margin of 35 to 4, with nearly 90% of the votes cast and 83% of the total group in favor of the union. The 42 Test Associates, Software Test Engineers, and Data Software Analysts that form the new bargaining unit in Milwaukee will immediately begin the process of preparing for contract negotiations with Experis.
The workers, who are responsible for quality assurance and troubleshooting of newly developed games and have worked on projects including Microsoft Flight Simulator (2020), Forza Motorsport (2023), Halo Infinite, and Starfield, decided to form a union in order to address multiple workplace issues. Low pay, burnout, a lack of job security, and unaffordable health insurance are just a few of the chronic problems in the video game industry that the workers are hoping to improve. The group endured an active anti-union campaign by members of management that included mandatory captive audience meetings, emails, workplace postings, and threats of frozen pay and promotions during negotiations as senior leadership from Experis and Manpower North America were brought in to dissuade the workers from unionizing.
Despite the company’s anti-union efforts, Experis workers remain steadfast in their effort to achieve a voice at work and are looking forward to productively working with Experis management to reach a first contract that allows the company to remain competitive through fair pay, benefits and working conditions that respect the workers’ expertise and hard work. Improvements in working conditions are essential to reducing employee burnout and to creating sustainable, family supporting jobs in the Milwaukee area community.
“We could not be prouder of the forceful message Experis workers delivered to their employer yesterday: that they are ready to be compensated fairly for the skills and hard work they bring to their jobs every day,” said IAM District 10 Directing Business Representative Alex Hoekstra. “We welcome them into the IAM family and will have their backs at every step of the way as they negotiate their first contract. When 83% of workers agree that it’s time to bargain, it’s time to bargain.”
“Congratulations to video game testers at Experis Game Solutions who on Thursday, November 30, won their union election,” said Stephanie Bloomingdale, President of the Wisconsin AFL-CIO. “We are proud to welcome and offer our solidarity to video game workers as they come together in union with the IAMAW District 10 to address workplace issues and fight for a living wage. Momentum for union organizing continues to sweep the nation as workers in Wisconsin and other states look to unions for a better life. We call on Experis Game Solutions and ManpowerGroup to come to the table in good faith to negotiate a first union contract with the newest members of the IAMAW District 10.”