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CEO's "Catastrophic" Comments Have Ubisoft Paris Workers Planning A Strike

The union is demanding higher pay and a shorter work week.


Workers of Ubisoft Paris may strike in response to comments from Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot, with the workers demanding increased salaries, a four-day workweek, more transparency, and an end to abusive management practices.

According to PC Gamer, the union's action is both a consequence of Guillemot's comments and Ubisoft's general financial state. Earlier in January, Ubisoft canceled several unnamed projects and delayed Skull and Bones yet again. It also stated that Mario + Rabbids: Sparks of Hope and Just Dance 2023 failed to hit sales markers. Delays in combination with lower sales have put the company in a bad financial spot. CEO Yves Guillemot sent an email to Ubisoft staff, which was obtained by Kotaku. In the email, Guillemot urged employees to work hard and be frugal. He said, "Today more than ever, I need your full energy and commitment to ensure we get back on the path to success. I am also asking each of you to be especially careful and strategic with your spending and initiatives, to ensure we’re being as efficient and lean as possible."

In response, the Ubisoft Paris chapter of Solidaries Informatique released a statement. Solidaries Informatique is a trade union, encompassing several tech companies in France. The statement claims that Guillemot's words urge employees to give into "managerial pressure" and work "overtime." It also hints at the future possibilities of layoffs, studio closures, and salary cuts. According to the statement, Guillemot's word and hidden intentions shift the blame from management to employees, asking them to take the financial and labor burden for the company's decisions.

In the statement, the union made four demands of the company:

  • An immediate 10% increase for all salaries, regardless of annual increases, to compensate for inflation. With the hundreds of millions of euros obtained from Tencent (opens in new tab), there is money in the coffers of the employers.
  • The improvement of working conditions, in particular, the implementation of the four-day week.
  • Transparency on the evolution of the workforce, both locally and globally.
  • A strong commitment against disguised dismissals and condemnation of abusive managerial policies that push employees to resign.

The strike is set to take place on January 27, from 2 to 6 PM CET.

In 2020, Solidaries Informatique put together a lawsuit against Ubisoft, after the company was awash with sexual harassment and workplace abuse allegations.

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