Activision Blizzard employees win their union vote
Share this

The Game Workers Alliance, the union of quality assurance workers at Activision subsidiary studio Raven Software, has won their union vote. The votes were tallied today and the union passed with 19 out of 22 votes with two challenged ballots. The election makes the Game Workers Alliance (GWA) the first union for Activision Blizzard and only the second formal union in US video game industry.

The vote is the culmination of months of organizing and a seeming concerted effort of union-busting on behalf of Activision Blizzard. In December, after 12 QA employees were informed they would be laid off in January, QA workers staged a walkout that morphed into a five-week-long strike at the Wisconsin-based Call of Duty support studio. At the end of that strike, the remaining QA workers formed the Game Workers Alliance in partnership with the Communications Workers of America (CWA).

Activision Blizzard was persistent in its attempts to stymie the unionization movement. Days after the GWA formed, Raven QA employees were broken out of their single department and distributed across multiple teams. The company also failed to voluntarily recognize the GWA, triggering the election process. During that time, the company petitioned the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) to determine that the voting unit be composed of Raven Software employees instead of just the QA workers trying to unionize, which could have potentially diluted the majority needed to formally elect a union.

In April of this year, Activision Blizzard converted over 1,000 temporary and contract employees to full time and granted them a minimum base pay starting at $20 / hr. Although all of the QA employees at Raven had already been converted to full-time status, they were informed that they would not be eligible to receive the minimum salary pay bump. In an email to the company, Brian Raffel, studio head at Raven wrote, “Through direct dialogue with each other, we improved pay, expanded benefits, and provided professional opportunities to attract and retain the world’s best talent.”

Raffel’s language touted the company line Activision Blizzard has used since the unionization process began: that employees can win benefits they seek only through “direct dialogue” with their employer. It’s language that Tom Smith, national organizing director at CWA, has called, “the most tired anti-union talking points straight from the union busting script.”

A week before the vote was to commence, Activision Blizzard requested the NLRB reconsider its decision to hold the vote, a request that was denied.

In a wholly separate but related matter, the NLRB said it has evidence that the Call of Duty publisher violated labor laws. In a report by Bloomberg, the NLRB stated that Activision Blizzard threatened employees, stating that they could not talk about wages, hours, or working conditions and implemented a restrictive social media policy that also interfered with employees’ protected organization rights. The news broke hours before the union vote was read aloud, and if the company does not settle, the NLRB has stated it will formally file a complaint. Activision Blizzard has denied the claims.

Today, the union voters, despite the monumental efforts of their employers, were finally able to exercise their protected right.

Share this
You May Also Like

Instagram is making a major change that could force you to be an influencer

ALL OF your Instagram videos may soon be turned into reels automatically.…

Stunning Nasa video reveals rare partial solar eclipse that lit up Moon’s mountains

NASA has captured footage of a solar eclipse with remarkable resolution. The…

Inside plan to make ONE US city ‘physical center of the metaverse’ that can connect us between worlds

ONE US city is teaming up with a tech company to become…

Tesla lays off nearly 200 Autopilot employees who help train the company’s AI

Tesla has laid off nearly 200 workers, most of them tasked with…

Google offers small app developers $90 million to settle antitrust allegations

Google has offered to pay out $90 million to small app developers…

How Technoblade revealed his true identity for first time in final message to YouTube fans after tragic cancer death

MINECRAFT YouTuber Technoblade has revealed his true identity for the first time to…

Substack CEO says he’s ‘very sorry’ about laying off 13 people

Substack is the latest tech company to announce layoffs, with the company’s…

Elon Musk is ‘MISSING’ – wildest theories including crazy birthday party and having to ‘lay low’

ELON Musk has gone radio silent on fans and followers. Musk has…