For the last seven weeks, 21 developers from Steel Division: Normandy ‘44 studio Eugen Systems have been on strike. This follows 15 months of discussions over what they call “serious violations” of their rights, ranging from their working environment to pay disputes. After several meetings in March, an agreement still hasn’t been reached, and 15 current and ex-developers have taken the matter to the French Labour Court.
In a post relayed by the French game developer union, Le Syndicat des Travailleurs et Travailleuses du Jeu Vidéo, the striking devs explained the situation.
“Our last meeting of Friday, March 23rd lasted only a quarter of an hour,” the update explains. “And for good reason, confronted with systematic rejection from management, we asked whether they would accept to negotiate anything. Their answer was brief and precise: no.“
Eugen’s management agreed to certain things in an effort to end the strike, but the developers consider these legal obligations. “We should not need such a promise to be sure it is done,” they write. The rest of the demands were either “ignored or denied,” say the developers.
“Since neither negotiation nor strike seems to be affecting our employers and that compliance with the law seems to be an exaggerated demand from their point of view, we consider that it is time to harden our methods.”
The hardened method is French Labour Court, with which the striking devs have initiated proceedings with. It won’t cover all of their concerns, however, like issues with working conditions.
At the start of the strike, Eugen made a statement denying that it ignored wage laws. It did admit that there had been a problem with payslips being sent out after they were due, but it blamed changes in legislation. It's been keeping schtum about the strike since then.
The strike started just after Eugen released its Back to Hell expansion for Steel Division.