Activision Blizzard’s Raven Software quality assurance staff will have the opportunity to vote on unionization starting this month after the National Labor Relations Board’s ruling.
This message is via polygonAfter Raven’s parent company Activision Blizzard challenged the effort, the NLRB ruled Friday that the 21-person QA department in question was eligible to unionize, the report said, in an attempt to make the entire 230-person team have to vote on the decision. Now , the 21 people in question can begin voting once they receive their ballots, which will be mailed on April 29. The votes will be counted on May 23, and if passed by an absolute majority, the Game Workers Union union will be officially formed and can begin negotiations with Activision Blizzard.
The news comes months after at least a dozen QA contractors at Raven were fired. The studio’s QA staff then went on strike in response, and soon after, 34 workers tried to unionize. Raven asked Activision Blizzard to voluntarily recognize the union by Jan. 25, but hours after the deadline, an Activision Blizzard spokesman declined to do so, citing the two parties could not reach an agreement. Earlier this month, Activision Blizzard converted all of its U.S.-based QA testers to full-time employees with benefits and pay raises, but the company said current Raven employees will not receive the new compensation plan, “due to Legal obligations under the National Labour Party Relations Committee.”
“Whether a Raven employee chooses to unionize has nothing to do with raising pay for QA employees elsewhere at Activision,” an Activision Blizzard spokesperson told Bloomberg then.
Many, including Sara Steffens, secretary and treasurer of the Game Workers Alliance, said Activision Blizzard’s move was the result of Raven’s push for better working conditions and pay, but Steffens said “Activision excluded Raven Software QA staff. , which is especially irritating, who has been at the forefront of this work, from these benefits,” in a statement Fan byte Earlier this month.
Activision Blizzard spokesperson tells NLRB to allow Raven to vote on union polygon The company is reviewing its potential appeal options.
“While we respect the NLRB process, we are disappointed that less than 10 percent of our staff have made decisions that could have a significant impact on the future of our entire studio,” a spokesperson told the publication. “We believe a direct relationship with team members is the best way to achieve personal and company goals. We are reviewing legal options for potential appeals.”
as polygon Attention, the Game Workers Union tweet “We are proud to announce that the NLRB has ruled that our unit is eligible to run. Thank you to everyone who has supported our campaign from our initial strike to the present day. It’s time for democracy.”
Amid all this, Microsoft’s nearly $69 billion deal to buy Activision Blizzard is getting closer, but Microsoft has said it won’t interfere with union work within the company.
For more information, please read game whistleblower The original report of the Raven Software layoffs, then caught up with the resulting Raven Software strike, including Activision management’s response to it.