The Teamsters Union says it is creating a new unit to bring in workers from a growing Atlanta sector… gaming.
A collage of Corsair employees and Teamsters union members gathered outside of the gaming manufacturing facility in Duluth on Wednesday holding signs that said “Union Strong” and “Vote Teamsters Yes.”
The California-based manufacturer produces headphones, controllers and monitors, alongside other computer hardware components.
Unions are on the rise in the gaming industry as workers seek to make meaningful, sustainable change. This is following a nationwide trend in worker organizations where an uptick in union elections and unfair labor complaints has workers vowing to make changes in their workplaces.
In recent years, union efforts within the industry are gaining traction as workers seek to rewrite the history of low wages, long hours and minimal benefits. Notably, Activision Blizzard and Microsoft employees have also started union representation campaigns.
Last month, Teamsters filed a petition to join Local 728 in Atlanta, according to the National Labor Relations Board.
The group of more than 70 workers across video game production and warehouse jobs say they want better healthcare benefits, job security and wage increases.
Pierina Rodriguez, an employee at the Duluth facility for just over a year, has seen a number of layoffs during her time here.
“I just felt like a lot of anxiety about whether I am going to be next. Who else is going to be next? What’s going on?,” she said. “And then also, I really thought I’d see my co-workers again. But this is literally the last time I’m seeing them, and I had no idea.”
“To be one of the first computer peripherals, to set up this pillar, basically. And be like, Yeah, we did it. Come on, we can kind of give you a reference on how to do things, what you can use, what you can do, you know,” said Max Madsen, a three-year employee of Corsair and the lead organizer of the union petition.
“I mean, our generation is coming up quickly. And we’re starting to take over the worker population.”
Amarion Sutton, a 20-year-old employee who has been with Corsair for just under a year, noted the way that workers are treated reminds him of the children’s book “Horton Hears a Who!”
“We’re like that small voice, and they’re Horton. They’re not willing to hear us. So we’re going to do what we can to make them hear us,” the worker said.
Another attendee to the rally was Georgia native and state Sen. Nabilah Islam.
“We are a right-to-work state. But soon, in a couple more years, I’m hoping that we will be able to abolish the right to work and make sure that anyone who wants to unionize can freely do so without being randomly fired for no reason,” said Islam.
Workers are set to vote on union membership on Thursday, Sept. 28th.