You are viewing ea_spouse

ea_spouse - EA: The Human Story [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
ea_spouse

[ userinfo | livejournal userinfo ]
[ archive | journal archive ]

EA: The Human Story [Nov. 10th, 2004|12:01 am]
Previous Entry Share Next Entry
My significant other works for Electronic Arts, and I'm what you might call a disgruntled spouse.

EA's bright and shiny new corporate trademark is "Challenge Everything." Where this applies is not exactly clear. Churning out one licensed football game after another doesn't sound like challenging much of anything to me; it sounds like a money farm. To any EA executive that happens to read this, I have a good challenge for you: how about safe and sane labor practices for the people on whose backs you walk for your millions?

I am retaining some anonymity here because I have no illusions about what the consequences would be for my family if I was explicit. However, I also feel no impetus to shy away from sharing our story, because I know that it is too common to stick out among those of the thousands of engineers, artists, and designers that EA employs.

Our adventures with Electronic Arts began less than a year ago. The small game studio that my partner worked for collapsed as a result of foul play on the part of a big publisher -- another common story. Electronic Arts offered a job, the salary was right and the benefits were good, so my SO took it. I remember that they asked him in one of the interviews: "how do you feel about working long hours?" It's just a part of the game industry -- few studios can avoid a crunch as deadlines loom, so we thought nothing of it. When asked for specifics about what "working long hours" meant, the interviewers coughed and glossed on to the next question; now we know why.

Within weeks production had accelerated into a 'mild' crunch: eight hours six days a week. Not bad. Months remained until any real crunch would start, and the team was told that this "pre-crunch" was to prevent a big crunch toward the end; at this point any other need for a crunch seemed unlikely, as the project was dead on schedule. I don't know how many of the developers bought EA's explanation for the extended hours; we were new and naive so we did. The producers even set a deadline; they gave a specific date for the end of the crunch, which was still months away from the title's shipping date, so it seemed safe. That date came and went. And went, and went. When the next news came it was not about a reprieve; it was another acceleration: twelve hours six days a week, 9am to 10pm.

Weeks passed. Again the producers had given a termination date on this crunch that again they failed. Throughout this period the project remained on schedule. The long hours started to take its toll on the team; people grew irritable and some started to get ill. People dropped out in droves for a couple of days at a time, but then the team seemed to reach equilibrium again and they plowed ahead. The managers stopped even talking about a day when the hours would go back to normal.

Now, it seems, is the "real" crunch, the one that the producers of this title so wisely prepared their team for by running them into the ground ahead of time. The current mandatory hours are 9am to 10pm -- seven days a week -- with the occasional Saturday evening off for good behavior (at 6:30pm). This averages out to an eighty-five hour work week. Complaints that these once more extended hours combined with the team's existing fatigue would result in a greater number of mistakes made and an even greater amount of wasted energy were ignored.

The stress is taking its toll. After a certain number of hours spent working the eyes start to lose focus; after a certain number of weeks with only one day off fatigue starts to accrue and accumulate exponentially. There is a reason why there are two days in a weekend -- bad things happen to one's physical, emotional, and mental health if these days are cut short. The team is rapidly beginning to introduce as many flaws as they are removing.

And the kicker: for the honor of this treatment EA salaried employees receive a) no overtime; b) no compensation time! ('comp' time is the equalization of time off for overtime -- any hours spent during a crunch accrue into days off after the product has shipped); c) no additional sick or vacation leave. The time just goes away. Additionally, EA recently announced that, although in the past they have offered essentially a type of comp time in the form of a few weeks off at the end of a project, they no longer wish to do this, and employees shouldn't expect it. Further, since the production of various games is scattered, there was a concern on the part of the employees that developers would leave one crunch only to join another. EA's response was that they would attempt to minimize this, but would make no guarantees. This is unthinkable; they are pushing the team to individual physical health limits, and literally giving them nothing for it. Comp time is a staple in this industry, but EA as a corporation wishes to "minimize" this reprieve. One would think that the proper way to minimize comp time is to avoid crunch, but this brutal crunch has been on for months, and nary a whisper about any compensation leave, nor indeed of any end of this treatment.

This crunch also differs from crunch time in a smaller studio in that it was not an emergency effort to save a project from failure. Every step of the way, the project remained on schedule. Crunching neither accelerated this nor slowed it down; its effect on the actual product was not measurable. The extended hours were deliberate and planned; the management knew what they were doing as they did it. The love of my life comes home late at night complaining of a headache that will not go away and a chronically upset stomach, and my happy supportive smile is running out.

No one works in the game industry unless they love what they do. No one on that team is interested in producing an inferior product. My heart bleeds for this team precisely BECAUSE they are brilliant, talented individuals out to create something great. They are and were more than willing to work hard for the success of the title. But that good will has only been met with abuse. Amazingly, Electronic Arts was listed #91 on Fortune magazine's "100 Best Companies to Work For" in 2003.

EA's attitude toward this -- which is actually a part of company policy, it now appears -- has been (in an anonymous quotation that I've heard repeated by multiple managers), "If they don't like it, they can work someplace else." Put up or shut up and leave: this is the core of EA's Human Resources policy. The concept of ethics or compassion or even intelligence with regard to getting the most out of one's workforce never enters the equation: if they don't want to sacrifice their lives and their health and their talent so that a multibillion dollar corporation can continue its Godzilla-stomp through the game industry, they can work someplace else.

But can they?

The EA Mambo, paired with other giants such as Vivendi, Sony, and Microsoft, is rapidly either crushing or absorbing the vast majority of the business in game development. A few standalone studios that made their fortunes in previous eras -- Blizzard, Bioware, and Id come to mind -- manage to still survive, but 2004 saw the collapse of dozens of small game studios, no longer able to acquire contracts in the face of rapid and massive consolidation of game publishing companies. This is an epidemic hardly unfamiliar to anyone working in the industry. Though, of course, it is always the option of talent to go outside the industry, perhaps venturing into the booming commercial software development arena. (Read my tired attempt at sarcasm.)

To put some of this in perspective, I myself consider some figures. If EA truly believes that it needs to push its employees this hard -- I actually believe that they don't, and that it is a skewed operations perspective alone that results in the severity of their crunching, coupled with a certain expected amount of the inefficiency involved in running an enterprise as large as theirs -- the solution therefore should be to hire more engineers, or artists, or designers, as the case may be. Never should it be an option to punish one's workforce with ninety hour weeks; in any other industry the company in question would find itself sued out of business so fast its stock wouldn't even have time to tank. In its first weekend, Madden 2005 grossed $65 million. EA's annual revenue is approximately $2.5 billion. This company is not strapped for cash; their labor practices are inexcusable.

The interesting thing about this is an assumption that most of the employees seem to be operating under. Whenever the subject of hours come up, inevitably, it seems, someone mentions 'exemption'. They refer to a California law that supposedly exempts businesses from having to pay overtime to certain 'specialty' employees, including software programmers. This is Senate Bill 88. However, Senate Bill 88 specifically does not apply to the entertainment industry -- television, motion picture, and theater industries are specifically mentioned. Further, even in software, there is a pay minimum on the exemption: those exempt must be paid at least $90,000 annually. I can assure you that the majority of EA employees are in fact not in this pay bracket; ergo, these practices are not only unethical, they are illegal.

I look at our situation and I ask 'us': why do you stay? And the answer is that in all likelihood we won't; and in all likelihood if we had known that this would be the result of working for EA, we would have stayed far away in the first place. But all along the way there were deceptions, there were promises, there were assurances -- there was a big fancy office building with an expensive fish tank -- all of which in the end look like an elaborate scheme to keep a crop of employees on the project just long enough to get it shipped. And then if they need to, they hire in a new batch, fresh and ready to hear more promises that will not be kept; EA's turnover rate in engineering is approximately 50%. This is how EA works. So now we know, now we can move on, right? That seems to be what happens to everyone else. But it's not enough. Because in the end, regardless of what happens with our particular situation, this kind of "business" isn't right, and people need to know about it, which is why I write this today.

If I could get EA CEO Larry Probst on the phone, there are a few things I would ask him. "What's your salary?" would be merely a point of curiosity. The main thing I want to know is, Larry: you do realize what you're doing to your people, right? And you do realize that they ARE people, with physical limits, emotional lives, and families, right? Voices and talents and senses of humor and all that? That when you keep our husbands and wives and children in the office for ninety hours a week, sending them home exhausted and numb and frustrated with their lives, it's not just them you're hurting, but everyone around them, everyone who loves them? When you make your profit calculations and your cost analyses, you know that a great measure of that cost is being paid in raw human dignity, right?

Right?


===

This article is offered under the Creative Commons deed. Please feel free to redistribute/link.
linkReply

Comments:
Page 9 of 52
<<[1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9] [10] [11] [12] [13] [14] [15] [16] [17] [18] [19] [20] [21] [22] [23] [24] [25] [26] [27] [28] [29] [30] [31] [32] [33] [34] [35] [36] [37] [38] [39] [40] [41] [42] [43] [44] [45] [46] [47] [48] [49] [50] [51] [52] >>
From: (Anonymous)
2004-11-11 07:59 pm (UTC)

I hate to say it...

(Link)

...but having lived with this practice for so long, I'm really starting to think that we will have to unionize, just like the movie industry. It seems like it's the only think that will create equity in the games industry, not only in hours worked but in sharing of the profits (and risks?) on the games as well. Heck, the games industry is trying to become just like the movie industry anyway.

And I hate unions.
From: ravidrath
2004-11-12 01:44 am (UTC)

Re: I hate to say it...

(Link)

I absolutely agree with your stance on this. I don't want to unionize, but what else can be done? Until these companies feel a financial sting from their labor practices, they have no reason to change.

Keep sending this around - I've alerted many gaming news sites and mags, and now that they've seen the class-action lawsuit filed against EA they're very interested in the story. I also E-mailed everything to Chris Morris at CNN/Money, noting that unionization would destroy the profits he reports on from week to week, so that this is an issue he should mention.

Expect to see more of this in the following days and weeks.

-Peter
From: (Anonymous)
2004-11-11 08:01 pm (UTC)

As another who was offered a job by EA..

(Link)

I find the lies they tell during the interview process shocking. I asked, flat out, "do you have crunch? If so, what kind of hours are we looking at?" After all, I've been in the industry for several years now; crunch exists, I don't like it, but I am willing to do it for short stints to push a game from A to AAA ranking.

Their response? "Oh, we're much better than most other shops, especially small devs (like what I was coming from). I'd say we work maybe one 10 hour day a week, the rest 8 hours, for a month before ship, and weekends only occasionally if things get really bad". Yes, I kid you not, he was telling me that they basically didn't do crunch! And this wasn't just one person - I asked several during the interview process, and got similar responses.

However, I've heard too many stories like yours, and talked with other ex-EA employees, and turned down the job offer. I'm glad I did.

Encourage your SO to find someplace new - there are other studios hiring, as many others on this list have stated. Also, if your SO is given a task list and a date to have it done by, make sure that they state, in email at the very least, their true estimated completion date. Same goes for any discussions they have with supervisors, in case of 'forgetfulness' later. Confirm in an email what was decided, so that no one can claim otherwise later. A paper trail is a great thing to have when disputing with supervisors, even if it is just in email.

At the very least, have your SO just stop coming in on Sundays. Turn off their cell phone, and screen your home phone with an answering machine. It's more important to have that downtime than a lot of people realize.
From: (Anonymous)
2004-11-11 08:02 pm (UTC)

(Link)

I witnessed the EA pricks lay off everyone(around 60 people) at EA Seattle the day after the game they worked on shipped. AFTER they had crunched nonstop for 6 months up to 100 hours a week. The whole time management promising that if they "just get Hot Pursuit out on time...big bonuses and job security are guaranteed." At one point during crunch, EA had the balls to send a letter to all the worker's families...the letter was an apology for the mandatory 7 day work weeks and included a $25 gift certificate for dinner. "Spend some time with the family on us." OH BOY!!!

It's all because of pathetic project planning/managment by EA's army of overpaid, worthless producers. The irony is, the main management on that project got promoted after they shut the studio down. One is now the exec producer for EA Racing and the studio manager is now the head of the Vancouver studio...go figure they are both buddy buddy with Don Matrick.
From: (Anonymous)
2004-11-14 03:23 am (UTC)

The more I read...

(Link)

The more I read about the injustices by EA and other vampiric game companies the more I want to just...fuck 'em! I don't even play videogames! My my husband finally quit the industry altogether after 15 years of indentured service. It almost cost us our marriage and his health but it was the best decision he ever made. If you don't get in, you won't get burned. Stay away, stay far away!
From: (Anonymous)
2004-11-11 08:09 pm (UTC)

It's not just the video game companies doing it.

(Link)

I used to be a proofreader for a computer software maker who has been in the L.I. news quite a bit. I recently left this past May and one of the main reasons I left was the amount of hours me and the other two proofreaders were expected to work.

When I sat down and totaled the hours I had worked in 2003 it came to be equal 14 months for the year. Yes I got paid by the hour but at a salary that was in the mid 30s that doesn’t amount to much. It was a huge strain on my marriage, one that thankfully I think we are now recovering from.

Did they realize I and my other proofreaders were there until 3 a.m. Monday through Friday for 2 months? Yes. Did they care? Not from what I experienced.

I remember being told after working 3 days in a row from 9 a.m. to 2 a.m. that we were getting sloppy and let too many things get by us. I asked my boss just how accurate she would be if she had only a total of 12 hours of sleep in 3 days. I never did get an answer.

From what I keep reading and hearing too many software companies see their employees as resources to be used as much and as fast as they cane be. They aren't viewed as people with lives and families. It’s sad and I’m thankful that my new job is no where near that. I wish you the best of luck and hang in there. I got out and things have never been better.
From: (Anonymous)
2004-11-11 08:13 pm (UTC)

right there with you

(Link)

suppose that we should start a support group? or maybe a picket line?
From: (Anonymous)
2004-11-13 01:49 am (UTC)

Re: right there with you

(Link)

Okay I am blanket posting in this news group, but please, rather than just say it do something.

contact me at nigel_knox@hotmail.com.

We need some sort of international union (like the IGDA), if you agree, contact me.
From: (Anonymous)
2004-11-11 08:18 pm (UTC)

Tsk, tsk

(Link)

$2.5 billion market cap. Millions of dollars donated to USC (my alma mater) in the name of creating a program that prepares students to work in the industry.

If this is the kind of work they prepare you for, a whip and a bellowing beast is all they need.
From: ravidrath
2004-11-11 08:24 pm (UTC)

Getting This Out There...

(Link)

I'm former press and doing everything I can to get this out into the media, gaming and otherwise.

Spread this as far and wide as you can, and hopefully EA will respond to public pressure.

-Peter
From: ravidrath
2004-11-12 01:41 am (UTC)

Re: Getting This Out There...

(Link)

I've alerted gaming press outlets as well as CNN/Money.

No one was interested in just responding to the 'blog, but when I dug up the class-action lawsuit already filed against EA over this stuff, they became very interested.

Hopefully we'll be hearing a lot more about this in the days and weeks to come.

Keep up the hard work, everyone.

-Peter
From: (Anonymous)
2004-11-11 08:31 pm (UTC)

testers have it even worse

(Link)

This comes as no surprise to me, as I was employed at EAHQ as a tester in 2002. I clocked a few 80+ hour workweeks at the end of the testing cycle, but because I was being paid hourly, I was compensated with overtime/doubletime, plus production would buy dinner for their teams in overtime.

However, as testers we almost expected to take a certain amount of shit, being pretty much the lowest-paid and lowest-ranking workers in the company. Not to mention, we were all pretty much guaranteed to be laid off at or before six months of employment, as EA hires for its QA department on limited contracts (so that none of the testers or tech support people ever have to be paid any benefits - ain't that nice?).

However, I had no idea they would put people on salary through the wringer like this, or that it was even legal to do so. Again, it was understood that us testers were going to be treated as machinery, but that there would be an end to the labor at six months (or less). You would expect that people on salary are in for the long haul, and 80 hour workweeks are certainly not healthy for anyone for more than a very brief period of time.

I'm interested to see what will become of these sketchy practices now that people are really calling EA out. I applaud your bravery, but I'm still going to remain anonymous for now.
[User Picture]From: gedrean
2004-11-11 08:33 pm (UTC)

(Link)

I know I'm not going to buy anymore EA products... not that I did in the first place.
From: (Anonymous)
2004-11-11 08:34 pm (UTC)

Hear hear!

(Link)

My husband has been in the video game industry for years, and though part of smaller companies that don't quite compare to a corporation the size of EA, I can vouch for the fact that this kind of practice is standard wherever you go. It's a shame, but as others say - there's a thousand people lined up just waiting to take your job, and your boss can probably pay that guy less than he paid you.
From: (Anonymous)
2004-11-11 08:37 pm (UTC)

Rep Card Link

(Link)

Anyone inside EA care to send this link, or the attached PDF to the slaves inside of EA?

Might cause a few shock waves.

http://www.mpsc839.org/_Home/home_FRM1.html

"Click here to receive a representation card in Adobe Acrobat format, or contact the Local 839 union office to receive a representation card by mail or for further information."
From: (Anonymous)
2004-11-11 08:48 pm (UTC)

Re: Rep Card Link

(Link)

What about non-american ea employees? Ea Canada, EA montreal, Asia, UK... can they join the union too?

thanks,
From: (Anonymous)
2004-11-11 08:49 pm (UTC)

:O WTF!?!

(Link)

I'm not ever buying anything from EA again. That's sick.
From: (Anonymous)
2004-11-11 08:50 pm (UTC)

another voice saying the same thing

(Link)


hi.

saw this linked on /. and read thru it.

and i went through this same thing when i worked for a smaller studio (which will remain nameless).

it seems to me that this sort of thing is so common in the games industry that it's not even funny. read some of the 500+ comments saying that there should be a union formed, and i tend to agree.

while i didn't work for a juggernaut such as EA (the studio i worked for was small in comparison), the conditions were exactly the same. insane hours, little pay, and almost no compensation for all the ridiculous hours that were mandatory during a crunch time. it took an extreme toll on my health and it's taken me several years to recover from the damage that pulling all those 48+ hour days had on me.

in the face of a project that could potentially make millions of dollars for a company (and line a ceo's armani suit pockets with fat cash to spend on hookers and booze), you are but a small cog in the wheel that churns. you honestly don't matter. the project does. it's always for the good of the project.

this sort of thing is so common in the games industry that i'm honestly shocked that no one hasn't stood up and said "hey, this is totally fucked, and we should all do something about it!" -- there are thousands of unsung masses at all of the large studios that churn out this stuff year after year and it honestly surprises me that people just accept this sort of treatment and say "well, that's just the way this industry is", as i feel it's totally unacceptable. it essentially slavery. unless you're getting paid 500k to a mil a year or more to do the work, i don't think that anything else is fair compensation.

people have lost their health, sanity and marriages because of the video game industry. and the fat cats at the top don't care. they honestly don't. because for every worn out, fatigued programmer on any game dev team, there are 10 waiting at the door who don't know what really goes on, eager to be hired to show off their stuff. you're all expendable. and the people at the door fresh out of school waiting to go for it are much cheaper to take care of in the beginning than someone who's been in the industry for awhile and is being burned out.

these days, i see commercials on tv for small colleges offering degrees in video game design and so forth, and i have to cynically wonder if the ceo's of these large organizations are funding the development of these so called college programs to further stoke the fire! the turnover in the games industry is insane and horrible and these smaller college programs NEVER teach you the sorts of things that you're really in for when you go to work at a video game studio i reckon.

it would be great to see a programmers union be formed, and great to see some of the jobs that have gone overseas come back to american soil again. and it would be FANTASTIC to see the turnover that's too common in the video game industry to be foiled. it would be great to see less of a quantity of shitty games being churned out and more quality games, and it would also be great to know that when i pay fifty fucking dollars for a game that it wasn't churned out in what is more or less an american sweatshop. it would be great to know that the games i buy weren't cranked out by people under extreme duress.

after all, the people that work in the games industry now are essentially that -- sweatshop workers. you may be getting paid decent salaries, and the office that you work in may be swanky and filled to the brim with perks, but the conditions are more or less the same as some shop in a third world country cranking out nike products. i'll be no one thinks of it that way, but it essentially is.

this particular situation in the games industry HAS to change.

perhaps you all should get together in secret or perhaps meet in secret at GDC and hash all this out. you have the power to do something. granted, if you do, you may have to accept that if you're caught your jobs may be at stake. but taking that chance is the only way that things will get better.

and all of you should retain lawyers. good ones. start a revolution. change it. the people that work at all the major studios currently CAN'T be happy with the way things are.
From: (Anonymous)
2004-11-11 08:51 pm (UTC)

It's all too common in the industry.

(Link)

Having worked for Activision for some time as a programmer, I can relate. I worked 12 hour days for quite a while, sometimes spending up to 24 hours straight at work. The project was clearly planned with crunch mode in mind, because companies know they can exploit their workers to produce games faster and cheaper. Same deal at Activision of course - no overtime, no comp time, nothing. After said project was finished I was immediately put into crunch on another project. When I had the balls to complain about this to the studio head and say it was unfair, his response was that if I didn't want to "do my job", he had a lot of bright young kids waiting that could. Gee, thanks for appreciating my hard work.

My sympathies to everyone that's had to go through this sort of BS. If anyone ever actually managed to assemble the resources necessary to start a game developer's union, I would be one of the first on board.
From: (Anonymous)
2004-11-13 01:52 am (UTC)

Re: It's all too common in the industry.

(Link)

If anyone wnats any advice on starting a union please feel free to contact me at

nigel_knox@hotmail.com


From: mustra3d
2004-11-11 08:51 pm (UTC)

Getting out

(Link)

I want to get out of this industry. But how do I start looking for a similar job in the defense industry? And is it any better there?
From: (Anonymous)
2004-11-11 08:53 pm (UTC)

Programmer's Spouse Understands

(Link)

My husband is a software developer and has left a company who had a similar practice. His company's practice wasn't calculated, rather it was out of poor project management and company management's lack of knowledge about how long it actually takes to produce something. I am truly shocked by your story... I suggest a Wal-mart approach to companies with poor business practices, I refuse to solicit them. I also think that there's very good cause for an employment lawsuit in there as well as some pretty negative press that at the very least, will make these executive think about their practices. In all likelihood, however, it will merely drive them to India where they can get some guy to do your spouse's job for a fraction of the cost. What we are doing to American workers is a sin...
From: (Anonymous)
2004-11-11 09:02 pm (UTC)

Just do it (leave!)

(Link)

I used to work some pretty insane hours, for free.

I highly recommend The Joy of Not Working (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0898159148/104-5910634-9138306?v=glance)

These days my wife works (granted, a good job) and I stay home with the kids. Computers are now a hobby and I have much more fun!

-Norman Lorrain
normanlorrain@hotmail.com
From: (Anonymous)
2004-11-11 09:14 pm (UTC)

(Link)

For the record, I'm another EA spouce that feels like my partner is being taken from me with nothing in return. At least his department still pays overtime but he has been working overtime for three years with no end in sight. We thought this company was going to offer great things but it only took from us, hopefully we will find a better place sometime soon, but where is better? It's hard to know, I'm kinda leaning toward some radical sort of union or strike but with jobs so scarce it seems like they'd just fire everyone and most people would be too scared to speak out.
From: unionjosh
2004-11-13 09:34 pm (UTC)

(Link)

People should be able to have a job and a life. I am a union organizer and I am helping with the class action lawsuit. If we come together and make a plan that works, we won't have to go on some kind of kamikaze mission just win fair treatment. Let's talk about what can be done and how to do it. unionjosh@hotmail.com
Josh Pastreich
From: (Anonymous)
2004-11-11 09:15 pm (UTC)

Whiners

(Link)

This is garbage. There are a large number of jobs where people work for less, and work much much harder than 85 hours a week coding on a computer. Ever been on a farm? Ever had to prepare for trial as a paralegal? Ever had to work in an emergency room as a nurse?

Boo-fucking-hoo.
From: (Anonymous)
2004-11-11 09:18 pm (UTC)

Re: Whiners

(Link)

asshole.
Re: Whiners - (Anonymous) Expand
Re: Whiners - (Anonymous) Expand
Re: Whiners - (Anonymous) Expand
Re: Whiners - (Anonymous) Expand
Re: Whiners - (Anonymous) Expand
Re: Whiners - (Anonymous) Expand
From: (Anonymous)
2004-11-11 09:21 pm (UTC)

(Link)

EA is the National Socialist Party of Video Gaming. They blitz in with the promise of hope and a big budget, then suck the marrow from the smaller companies bones. after that, they roll on, leaving scorched earth.
that's how it worked at Westwood, after Brett and Stimpy sold out.
From: unionjosh
2004-12-17 09:53 pm (UTC)

(Link)

Have you thought about joining the class action lawsuit?
Josh Pastreich
IATSE Local 16
unionjosh@local16.org
From: (Anonymous)
2004-11-11 09:22 pm (UTC)

Won't buy from EA

(Link)

Thanks for the article - I'll make sure to pirate or steal their products rather than buying them in the future - best to you and your SO
From: (Anonymous)
2004-11-11 09:24 pm (UTC)

Try working in the Recording Industry

(Link)

If you think this is egregiously wrong. How about making 250 dollars a week and having to work 7 days a week for 12-14 hours a day at a world class recording studio? This is the reality of a lot of entry level assistants and runners at recording studios here in North America. Forget about having a family or social life for about 3-5 years of the beginning of your career! This is the reality of what some people have to go through to make it through the top. Some world class recording engineers and producers have climbed up the ladder this way. An entry level assistant would kill to work for 30-45 grand a year at that pace. Many of these workers sit in front of computers all day also

From: (Anonymous)
2004-11-11 09:33 pm (UTC)

Re: Try working in the Recording Industry

(Link)

Everyone expects to work like a dog for the first few years of their career. My husband has been working for EA for several years. He got home at 2:30am last night. That's not acceptable.
From: (Anonymous)
2004-11-11 09:25 pm (UTC)

A petition is the least we could do.

(Link)

I'm studying Game Design in school, and am not as they say "in the industry" quite yet, and thus I feel that it is not my place to begin one, but could we not get their attention in the form of a petition? Such as...
"We, the undersigned, wish to make clear our strong desire to see the abhorrent treatment of Electronic Arts' employees in regard to unpaid overtime, unreasonable hours (70+ hour weeks), and generally appalling treatment (such as the attitude of "If you don't like it, find another job"). In an effort to fuel the support behind EA: The Human Story (an anonymous letter from the spouse of an Electronic Arts employee: http://www.livejournal.com/users/ea_spouse/ ), we will stand firm in our resolve to cease purchasing and playing your games.

Please work for what is right. You can afford to do the right thing. This situation takes a serious toll on your employees, and it is our belief that by rectifying it, your sales will go up and you will develop better products. Class-action lawsuits and widespread talk of unions is unbecoming of a major player in any industry. Please heed the advice of those who would support you in making the right decision."
From: (Anonymous)
2004-11-11 09:27 pm (UTC)

My husband works there too

(Link)

I feel the same way; my husband was working 80 to 90 hours per week. He got home exhausted and extremely cranky. He got a few weeks off after the game was over, but since he was not told about it in advance, we could not make any kind of plans. He had to stay at home bored and all alone. He rested a little but he would have preferred to get paid for the over time and sometimes not even getting paid extra is good enough. People need their free time, so they can perform better at home and at work.
From: ea_spouse
2004-11-11 09:50 pm (UTC)

Re: My husband works there too

(Link)

Please contact me at ea_spouse@hotmail.com if you would be willing to speak with any of the reporters or lawyers who have come forward. =) They want to talk to all of us.
[User Picture]From: deadworm222
2004-11-11 09:28 pm (UTC)

(Link)

And the illegality thing?
From: (Anonymous)
2004-11-11 10:46 pm (UTC)

The way it goes down

(Link)

1: employess realizes he/she is being fucked.
2: employee brings up concerns to managers and requests back pay for OT
3: employer makes hearty apology and pays minimum possible to get employee to shut up
4: employer informs employee that california is an 'at will' state, and that his services will no longer be required at the company
5: employer black lists employee
Page 9 of 52
<<[1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9] [10] [11] [12] [13] [14] [15] [16] [17] [18] [19] [20] [21] [22] [23] [24] [25] [26] [27] [28] [29] [30] [31] [32] [33] [34] [35] [36] [37] [38] [39] [40] [41] [42] [43] [44] [45] [46] [47] [48] [49] [50] [51] [52] >>