Bobby Kotick introduced right now that Activision Blizzard will acknowledge Raven Software program’s union of high quality assurance testers. He promised that “we’ll have interaction in good religion negotiations to enter right into a collective bargaining settlement” with Communications Employees of America.
The letter was despatched to all Activision Blizzard staff. It talked about that the corporate had elevated pay (whereas denying them to union organizers) and transformed contract testers to full time (a transfer that was additionally accompanied by main layoffs). The letter additionally emphasised that the writer had began to combine QA into the event course of, a transfer that was criticized by CWA as an try and separate union members. Activision Blizzard didn’t return a request for remark by the point of publication.
It’s onerous to inform how “good religion” these contract negotiations can be. Earlier than the QA testers at Raven Software program gained their historic union vote, the writer had been doing the whole lot it may to keep away from this consequence. An exec despatched a company-wide e-mail concerning the “penalties” of unionizing, and a labor board discovered “benefit” in claims that Activision Blizzard had been retaliating towards staff for discussing their working situations. The corporate had additionally compelled a vote with the labor board as a substitute of recognizing the union outright. The bargaining course of can typically be drawn out and contentious, so CWA nonetheless faces many challenges forward.
Activision Blizzard’s announcement got here after Microsoft introduced that it could work with unions. CEO Phil Spencer emphasised that Xbox did not at the moment have a relationship with the union, however stated that he would acknowledge the union when the acquisition deal closed.
Jessica Gonzalez, an organizer with the labor advocacy group A Higher ABK, instructed the New York Occasions that “[the union vote] goes to be the spark that ignites the remainder of the business, I consider.” She was proper. Earlier this week, the contractors who work on BioWare video games voted unanimously to type a labor union. The Edmonton-based testers specifically thanked “the courageous employees throughout North America who’re combating for a greater office.”