Activision Blizzard employees vote to form first company union

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Employees voted to form the first union at Activision Blizzard, the gaming giant known for titles like Overwatch, Diablo, World of Warcraftand Candy Crush. Per The Verge, quality assurance officer at Activision subsidiary Raven Software (a key contributor to the call of Duty franchise) have been organized as the Game Workers Alliance since January. Their union, which passed Monday by a vote of 19 out of 22, is only the second formal union in the entire US video game industry. “Our greatest hope is that our union will serve as an inspiration for the growing movement of workers organizing in video game studios to make better games and create jobs that reflect our values ​​and empower us all,” the Game Workers Alliance said in a statement. “We look forward to working with management to make our working conditions and the future of Activision Blizzard positive through a strong union agreement.”

The Washington Post reports that Raven’s management must negotiate in good faith with the union on May 31 if no objections are raised. Activision had previously attempted to halt unionization efforts by moving quality assurance employees to other teams, arguing that a union should include all Raven employees. “We respect and believe in the right of all employees to choose whether or not to vote for a union,” an Activision spokeswoman said in a statement. “We believe that an important decision that will affect the entire Raven Software studio of around 350 employees should not be made by 19 Raven employees. We are committed to doing what is best for the studio and our people.”

The union vote took place on the same day that federal labor officials separately found that Activision had violated labor laws. According to a Bloomberg report, the National Labor Relations Board claimed on Monday that the company had threatened employees and enforced a social media policy that violated workers’ rights to collective redress. The NLRB said it would file a formal grievance if Activision doesn’t reach an agreement, but Activision denied any wrongdoing. “These claims are false,” an Activision spokesman said in a statement. “Employees are free to speak up about these workplace issues without retaliation, and our social media policy expressly includes employees’ NLRA rights.”

https://www.vulture.com/2022/05/activision-blizzard-workers-vote-form-first-company-union.html Activision Blizzard employees vote to form first company union

Lindsay Lowe

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