According to reports small house (opens in new tab)Xbox chief Phil Spencer told an internal all-hands meeting that if Microsoft’s proposed acquisition of parent company Activision Blizzard is approved by the FTC, it will recognize Raven QA’s new union. (opens in new tab) and passed.
During the meeting, a recording was shown to Kotaku in which Spencer claimed that he and Microsoft VP of Gaming Linda Norman “absolutely support the right of employees to organize and form unions” and that they would “absolutely support” [an] Staff organization is in place. “This is consistent with previous statements (opens in new tab) Lisa Tanzi, Microsoft’s corporate vice president, told The Washington Post, “Microsoft respects the right of Activision Blizzard employees to choose whether to be represented by labor organizations, and we will respect those decisions.”
It’s unclear what recourse Microsoft will have as the union movement ends up being brought to the NLRB and won in a landslide vote (opens in new tab). Microsoft’s moderate rhetoric contrasts sharply with that from Activision Blizzard management, which actively opposes Raven QA’s unionization efforts.
Unless the acquisition fundamentally changes Activision Blizzard’s corporate structure and Raven’s relationship with it, Microsoft may ultimately simply avoid interfering in disputes between Raven’s union and management, and hostilities will continue to linger at Activision Blizzard. on the level. There’s also the open question of what the future union of Activision Blizzard-owned studios will look like now that Raven QA has opened its doors, and how Microsoft will respond if the merger goes through.