Union calls for Ubisoft strike following comments made by CEO

A French trade union has called for Ubisoft Paris to strike following controversial comments made by its CEO, Yves Guillemot.

Recently, Ubisoft not only delayed the troubled Skull and Bones for the sixth time, but it also cancelled three unannounced projects. This was on top of the other four cancelled projects in 2022.

skull and bones
Credit: Ubisoft

Ubisoft stock took a major hit

As a result of Ubisoft’s recent woes, share prices for the company took a major hit.

Consequently, its stock price plummeted, prompting CEO Guillemot to send a rallying email to his troops. This attempt to rally the troops, understandably, did not go down well.

What’s more, as reported by VGC, Ubisoft announced plans to cut €200 million in cuts over the next two years. It’s probably safe to assume where the vast majority of those cuts might be made.

Ubisoft said that it will trim the company bill: “through targeted restructuring, divesting some non-core assets and usual natural attrition”.

ubisoft union ceo
Credit: Ubisoft

email from Ubisoft CEO seemed to pass the blame

Today more than ever, I need your full energy and commitment to ensure we get back on the path to success,” said Guillemot in an alleged email.

I am also asking that each of you be especially careful and strategic with your spending and initiatives, to ensure we’re being as efficient and lean as possible.

The ball is in your court to deliver this line-up on time and at the expected level of quality, and show everyone what we are capable of achieving.

More notably from the CEO’s email, its comments such as being: “strategic with your spending and initiatives, to ensure we’re being as efficient and lean as possible,” as well as the ball is in [employees] court that agitated the masses. Upon reading the email, perhaps many would see it as the CEO passing responsibility to those below him.

The Union has spoken!

assassins creed
Credit: Ubisoft

In responding to Yves Guillemot’s email, the French trade union, Solidaires Informatique has called upon Ubisoft employees to stage a half-day strike. The strike would take place on Friday, January 27th from 2pm to 6pm.

In a statement from Solidaires Informatique, it wrote: “According to Guillemot: The Ball is in our court (but the money stays in his pocket).

If the request to employees to be ‘especially careful and strategic with your spending’ is ironic considering the company’s editorial strategy of the last few years, it is not funny.

When Mr Guillemot speaks of ‘attrition’ and ‘organisational adjustments’, it means staff reductions, discreet studio closures, salary cuts, disguised layoffs, etc.

The statement continued: “On several occasions, Mr Guillemot is trying to shift the blame (once again) onto the employees; he expects us to be mobilised, to ‘give it our all’, to be ‘as efficient and lean as possible’. 

These words mean something: overtime, managerial pressure, burnout, etc. Mr Guillemot asks a lot from his employees, but without any compensation.

Credit: Ubisoft

Ubisoft want better working conditions

What’s more, Solidaires Informatique has requested “transparency on the evolution of the workforce, both locally and globally,” and “a strong commitment against disguised dismissals and a condemnation of abusive managerial policies that push employees to resign”.

Furthermore, the union has also asked for a 10% pay rise “for all salaries” to help to cope with the cost of living. Moreover, employees want better working conditions as well as the introduction of a four-day week.

ubisoft montreal office
Credit: Ubisoft Montreal (Twitter)

It’s not the first time the Ubisoft CEO has faced controversy

The Ubisoft CEO has been shrouded in controversy in recent years. In 2021, Ubisoft employees criticised the CEO’s open letter in response to allegations of sexual harassment and even suicide within the company.

Furthermore, some employees also filed a petition in the hope of improving work conditions.

What are your thoughts on the recent troubles of Ubisoft? Let us know across our social media channels.

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Featured Image Credit: Ubisoft/Source: VGC