Union Labor vs. Independents in Crane Wars

Here at GamePolitics we’re always up for an issue-oriented game.

And while we can’t recall another offering based on the conflict between union labor and independent workers, Crane Wars, currently featured at Blurst, explores the never-ending conflict between the two groups.

With Toronto suffering through a strike by sanitation workers, The Star found particular relevance in Crane Wars‘ labor theme. Designer Steve Swink, who possesses a political science degree and a fascination with the labor movement, spoke to the newspaper about his game:

We’re soft on the Union for sure but we make coy little jabs at both sides. Your money, for instance, is constantly decreasing to the point of motion blur to remind you that you’re running a Union shop, and doing work is EXPENSIVE.


We definitely wanted the controls and gameplay pacing to reflect real cranes, at least so far as they are unwieldy, slow-moving machines that take a lot of skill. It’s not an easy job, and the folks doing it certainly deserve much respect…

As a small indie shop that is free of publishers and can set our own hours, I think health care would be the thing that interests us most. The big question mark with labour organization though is how it would affect prices of games for players.

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  1. 0
    jedidethfreak says:

    Depends on the Union, really.  For jobs where employee safety is a big issue, such as mining, they are almost universally a good thing.  However, because of organization, non-union companies are aware of the fact that they have to take care of their employees.  This is where some other Unions need to learn to back off, such as a lot of General Labor Unions in America.  I worked for a non-Union heating company for three years, made a good wage with great bennies, but was actually told by a Union rep that I was a horrible parent because I didn’t want to join a Union.  I chose not to because the Union would have ended up with me getting paid less than at my non-Union job, after dues and benefits (12 bucks an hour out of my check for medical?  Screw that, if I’m only getting paid 20).


    Freedom of speech means the freedom to say ANYTHING, so long as it is the truth. This does not exclude anything that might hurt someone’s feelings.

  2. 0
    Neeneko says:

    Ah unions.. now there is a topic that is difficult to handle objectivly.   Pretty much any time I see people talking about unions, for or against, they tend to vastly oversimply the issue.  They tie into so many one-off issues.

  3. 0
    MaskedPixelante says:

    I live in Windsor, about 4 hours from Toronto, and I think the Toronto workers strike is the best thing ever. Why? Because we haven’t had garbage pickup, park maintenance, or river maintenance for 11 weeks, if Toronto goes on strike, the government will legislate them back to work, and they’ll HAVE to legislate Windsor too.

    —You are likely to be eaten by a Grue.

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