Raven Unionization Vote Count Today as Activision Blizzard is accused of labor rights violations by NLRB

As a key union vote count for its Raven Software division takes place today, a new report indicates that Activision Blizzard has “illegally threatened employees and enforced a social media policy that conflicts with workers’ rights.”

The report, published by Bloomberg, notes that a government spokesman for the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) found illegal practices in the company’s efforts to thwart potential unionization efforts. Detailed violations were not specified. If the company does not agree to a settlement, the NLRB will file a suit with the allegations.

The report comes at an important day for this union effort. After determining that Raven Software’s QA staff had the right to hold a union vote separately (the company had attempted to hold the vote among all Raven employees), those votes are being counted on camera by the NLRB in Wisconsin. The vote is expected to pass, and if it does, it would mark the official formation of the first major video game union in the US.

The NLRB violations are being seen as part of the company’s anti-union campaign against the efforts of the Game Workers Alliance, which was formed after the company suddenly laid off 12 Raven QA employees (and also made some jobs permanent). This led to work stoppages and strikes.

Both parties went to court to shape the scope of official union elections after Activision Blizzard refused to voluntarily recognize the original announcement of union formation. The company had made some changes to Raven that the QA staff believed were attempts to dilute their organizational power by sending them out to all the different departments, a position reflected in an official statement spokeswoman Jessica Taylor told the Washington today mail gave:

“We respect and believe in the right of all employees to choose whether to support or vote for a union. We believe that a major decision that will impact the entire Raven Software studio of around 350 employees should not be made by less than 10% of Raven employees.”

Activision Blizzard announced changes last month that would affect over 1,000 employees and would convert all remaining US-based temp and contract QA workers to full-time, with a minimum wage increase to $20 an hour as a base starting July 1. However, these changes, including the increases, would not apply to Raven QA testers “due to our legal obligations under the National Labor Relations Act”. Raven Unionization Vote Count Today as Activision Blizzard is accused of labor rights violations by NLRB

Fry Electronics Team

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