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US Future Plc staff announce intention to unionise

US Future staff from across 11 international publications have announced their intent to unionise with the Writers Guild of America.

In an open letter shared on Twitter (thanks, GI.biz), staff from Future’s games and tech outlets PC Gamer, GamesRadar,+, Tom’s Guide, Tom’s Hardware, TechRadar, and Laptop Mag – as well as a variety of other music and science publications – said: "Future plc believes that ‘we all row the boat’ – that this company’s strength is built on the collective efforts of its workers. We believe that ideal is best upheld through a fair, collectively agreed-upon contract. We look forward to arriving at that contract through the same sort of teamwork that we devote every day to our verticals."

"Our union includes writers, editors, photographers, videographers, copy editors, and social media editors across 11 verticals," further tweets explain, "all of whom contribute mightily to the daily creative work of producing our many publications."

"We call on Future Plc to voluntarily recognise our union. That will allow labour and management to bargain for a fair contract, under which we can continue to produce reported news, authoritative reviews and helpful tutorials with the knowledge that we’re secure in our jobs."

Future UK abruptly shuttered GamesMaster and games™ magazines last October.

"Despite the company’s strong performance overall, unfortunately games™ and GamesMaster are no longer profitable parts of the business, which means that their next issue will be the final editions," Tony Mott, brand director of games, said at the time.

The magazines had long and storied histories. GamesMaster dates back to 1993, while games™ had been running since 2002, and closed a month short of its sixteenth birthday. Their closures leaves Future’s Edge magazine as the last, long-running proponent in the multi-format games space.

GamesMaster was based around the TV show of the same name, and ended up outliving its namesake by some 20 years. The magazine’s final editor, Robin Valentine, told MCV: "GamesMaster was very close to my heart, and I’m incredibly sad to see it go. For over 25 years it was a place to really celebrate video games, and its uniquely passionate and positive fanbase was testament to how much that resonated. I was so lucky to get to be a part of that, even if it turned out to be the final part."

About Vikki Blake

It took 15 years of civil service monotony for Vikki to crack and switch to writing about games. She has since become an experienced reporter and critic working with a number of specialist and mainstream outlets in both the UK and beyond.

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