Weeks after Activision Blizzard did not voluntarily recognize the Game Workers Union at Raven Software and their decision to merge, a National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) hearing began today on the topic of who gets to vote in the upcoming union election.
With the Raven software, the QA guys spent several months trying to work towards consolidation, declare their intention to merge after many weeks strike and awaiting voluntary recognition, the QA department was broken up and all employees were reassigned to different departments within Raven Software. Representatives for Raven workers argued that this was an attempt by Activision Blizzard to dilute their voices, especially after the deadline for voluntary recognition had passed and the company stressed that all employees at software Raven should be voted on, not just a department. Their lawyers argued that QA was no longer a separate department and that it would not be appropriate for them to vote alone.
With a QA department 1/10 the size of Raven’s Full Workforce of 300 employees, this can be a strategy, especially after statements about attempts to destroy unions and all hands-on meetings are called to discourage participation. Activision Blizzard states that the qualifying voting pool must be as large as possible and represent the entire company because decisions to merge or not will affect all of them.
A statement for The Washington Post from the Game Workers Union said, “The lack of transparency from management in this process, coupled with their refusal to come to the table with the worker Raven QA was demoralized. The time has passed for Activision Blizzard to realize that we – the workers – have organized our union and we are not backing down. ”
Activision Blizzard’s separate statement to WaPo echoes the belief that holding only one division is “inappropriate” and reflects a desire to see the entire company have a say in the merger vote: “We believe that every eligible employee deserves a vote count. We look forward to the NLRB’s decision.”
A verdict is not expected for some time on the matter.
Update 3:46 pm: this post has been updated for clarity.
https://www.mmorpg.com/news/the-nlrb-holds-first-hearing-over-raven-software-and-activision-blizzard-unionization-dispute-2000124371 NLRB holds first hearing on Raven software and Activision Blizzard’s merger dispute