The French trade union Solidaires Informatique has called on Ubisoft Paris workers to strike after the company presented them with an “alarming” strategic update.
In a statement last week, the company said it faced “serious challenges as the industry continues to shift to megabrends and long-lasting names.” Consequently, he again postponed the release of the long-awaited Skull & Bones for another year, and also canceled three unannounced games. It plans to increase its focus on its biggest brands and online services after lower-than-expected results over Christmas.
He also announced plans to cut costs by about 200 million euros over the next two years “through targeted restructuring, the sale of some non-core assets and the usual natural attrition.”
According to the Financial Times, since the announcement, the company’s share price has fallen by 19%.
Then Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillermot sent an email to employees, assigning them the responsibility to help change the fate of the company. “Today, more than ever, I need your full energy and commitment to get us back on the path to success,” he wrote. “I also ask each of you to be especially careful and strategic in your spending and initiatives so that we are as efficient and economical as possible.
“The ball is on your side to provide this squad on time and with the expected level of quality and show everyone what we are capable of.”
Now, in response to these events, the Ubisoft Paris branch of the Solidaires Informatiques trade union specializing in technology has called on workers to hold a half-day strike on Friday, January 27, from 14:00 to 18:00.
“According to Guillemot: the ball is on our side (but the money remains in his pocket),” the statement said. “In his latest statement, Mr. Guillemot announces the alarming future of Ubisoft.
“If asking employees to be “especially careful and strategic in their spending” is ironic, given the company’s editorial strategy of the past few years, it’s not funny.
“When Mr. Guillemot talks about “layoffs” and “organizational adjustments,” it means: staff cuts, inconspicuous studio closures, salary cuts, disguised layoffs, etc.
“Several times Mr. Guillemot tries to shift the blame (once again) to the employees; he expects that we will be mobilized, “give our all”, be “as efficient and lean as possible”. These words mean something: overtime, managerial pressure, burnout, etc.
“Mister. Guillemot demands a lot from his employees, but without any compensation.”
Solidaires Informatique also published a list of four requirements for Ubisoft — an immediate 10 percent wage increase “to compensate for inflation” and improved working conditions, including the introduction of a four-day working week.
The union also calls for “transparency in the evolution of the workforce both locally and globally” and “a strong commitment against disguised layoffs and condemnation of abusive management policies that push employees to lay off.”
Ubisoft has also recently been criticized by players of Tom Clancy’s The Division 2 for being launched on Steam without achievements.