A group of workers at Raven Software, the Activision division responsible for QA on Call of Duty: Warzone, has officially announced that they are merging with Communications Workers of America. The Game Workers Union has officially asked Activision Blizzard to voluntarily recognize the union at its Madison, Wisconsin-based development studio.
Follow Bloomberg’s Jason Schreier. The union is being formed by 34 Raven Software workers after weeks of strikes in response to Activision Blizzard allowing 12 in-developer QA employees in December. Washington Post, the division within Raven Software that has the majority of the alliance token signatories needed to form an alliance, currently Ask Activision Blizzard for official recognition the Game Workers Union.
In a press release, CWA’s Secretary-treasurer Sara Steffens said that “the collective bargaining agreement will give Raven QA employees a voice in the workplace, improve the games they produce, and make the company stronger. Voluntary recognition is the logical way forward.”
In the same press release, Erin Hall, a QA tester at Raven Software, said that the union’s goal is to represent what employees “as workers in the industry want as well as what it is.” setting a new standard for future workers across the industry.”
“Our union will help inform what’s best for Activision Blizzard as a company, as a platform for gamers and a workplace where all workers can thrive. The Game Workers Union (CWA) represents what we as industry workers aspire to and sets a new standard for workers across the industry moving forward.”
For its part, Activision Blizzard released a statement (via Polygon) on the merger announcement, said the company is “carefully considering the request for voluntary accreditation.”
“Activision Blizzard is carefully reviewing a request for voluntary accreditation from the CWA, which seeks to host approximately three dozen of the company’s nearly 10,000 employees. Although we believe there is a direct relationship between the company and team members offer the strongest workforce opportunities, we deeply respect the legal right of all workers to decide for themselves whether or not to join a union .
Across Activision Blizzard, we remain focused on listening closely to our employees and providing the improved salaries, benefits, and career opportunities needed to attract and retain the best talent. best of the world. Over the past few years, this has included raising the minimum wage for Raven QA employees by 41%, extending paid time off, expanding access to health benefits for employees and key stakeholders. other important roles, and converted more than 60% of Raven QA’s temp employees into full-time employees. “
It’s been a whirlwind of activity this week for Activision Blizzard, as the publisher acquired by Microsoft for a whopping 68.7 billion dollars if the deal is done through the regulatory body. As of July 2021, the studio has faced backlash when news of a lawsuit by a California agency alleges sexual harassment and discrimination at the publisher. The backlash to the lawsuit as well as a bombshell report in November by the Wall Street Journal stepped up calls for Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick to step down, despite reports saying he would stay at the company in his role as the acquisition progresses. while other reports say.He’s going to resign after closing the transaction.
– Game workers union ?? # WeAreGWA (@WeAreGWA) January 21, 2022
Come back in December, Activision Blizzard CEO Brian Bulatao sent a letter to the company’s employees in response to the consolidation efforts being initiated. The letter warned employees to “consider the consequences” of their signature on a union card with the Communications Workers of America. Bulatao stated in the email that he believes the company’s workplace culture can be fixed without employee unity.
Raven Software has been at the center of collective action since Activision Blizzard fired 12 QA employees in December, many of whom recently moved to Wisconsin in their own expenses. Due to not being able to renew the contract, many QA workers at the company went on strike, has been going on for more than a month now. A GoFundMe page has been set up in the weeks since the strike first began, to raise money to cover the bills of employees who are on strike or laid off.
According to a letter placed to Activision Blizzard management (via Washington Post), publishers have five days to respond, including the upcoming weekend. If the company does not officially recognize the union within that time, the Game Workers Union will apply for union elections with the National Labor Relations Board.
https://www.mmorpg.com/news/raven-software-workers-form-union-called-game-workers-alliance-2000124152 Software Workers Raven Forms a Union known as the Game Workers Union