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French Union Calls for Ubisoft Paris Employees to Strike

Solidaires Informatique is calling for the implementation of a four-day workweek and a 10% salary increase to offset inflation.

French union Solidaires Informatique called for a half-day strike at Ubisoft Paris in response to CEO Yves Guillemot's statements that "the ball was in [the employees'] court" to regain the company's success following the company's disappointing financial quarter which resulted in the cancellation of several unannounced projects.

On January 11, Ubisoft announced that it lowered its expectations for the last fiscal quarter as a result of "major challenges" in the industry and the underperformance of its recent titles. The company also revealed the cancellation of three unannounced titles and another delay of the Skull and Bones release.

Following this news, it was reported that Ubisoft head Yves Guillemot communicated to employees that the responsibility for the quality of the games now lies with them.

Now, in response to Guillemot's comments, the Ubisoft Paris section of the workers union Solidaires Informatique has called on the company's employees to go on a four-hour strike at the end of the month.

Solidaires Informatique reminded that Guillemot urged employees to be cautious with their spending warning them of moves like "organizational adjustments" and "natural attrition", which the group views as an attempt to deflect blame to the staff and suggests that these comments hint at layoffs, pay cuts, and studio closures.

It also expressed its disapproval of the CEO's call for employees to work harder and be more efficient – the group believes that this message was a call for overtime, increased managerial pressure, and burnout.

"Mr. Guillemot asks a lot from his employees, but without any compensation. Have salaries kept up with the high inflation of recent years? What about the implementation of the four-­day week? What has been put in place for the teams that come out of the productions exhausted (like those of Just Dance or Mario)?"  Solidaires Informatique wrote.

The union is now demanding that Ubisoft management take action to improve the conditions of their employees, including an immediate 10% salary increase to compensate for rising inflation, improved working conditions such as implementing a four-day work week, open and transparent communication about changes to the company's workforce both locally and globally, and efforts to combat "disguised" layoffs and misguided management policies that push employees to leave the company.

The strike is planned to take place on January 27, 2023, but it is not yet clear how many employees of the company have agreed to participate.

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