Activision-Blizzard’s Raven Software is formally unionizing


Perhaps ignoring and gaslighting the strikers wasn’t the best move for Activision after all: WAPO reports that “over 30” QA testers at Activision’s Raven Software have officially submitted a request to Activision to recognize their workers union.

“We ask that Raven Software and Activision leadership voluntarily recognize our union and respect our right to organize without retaliation or interference,” the newly named Game Workers Alliance writes, with the support of CWA. “The voices of workers should be heard by leadership. By uniting in solidarity, we can ensure our message is further reaching, and more effective.” Among their platform demands are sustainable workloads, transparent employment, fair pay, and diversity. “We aim to work together with leadership to create a healthy and prosperous work environment for all people, to develop successful and sustainable products, and to support the enjoyment of our players,” they conclude.

Raven Software, of course, was slammed with layoffs just ahead of the holidays, which turned into an almost two-month work strike; Activision-Blizzard has responded to the strike by saying it’s listening, but it has refused to meet with organizers.

According to WAPO, Raven has given Activision management five days to respond, at which point the group works through the National Labor Relations Board, which will succeed as they have a “supermajority” of votes already, which will force Activision-Blizzard to the bargaining table. WAPO’s expert, incidentally, says the Microsoft deal will have no credible impact on this unionization effort.

Source: WAPO, Twitter
Activision-Blizzard is considered a controversial gaming company owing to a long string of scandals over the last few years, including the Blitzchung boycott, mass layoffs, labor disputes, and executive pay fiasco. In 2021, the company was sued by California for fostering a work environment rife with sexual harassment and discrimination, the disastrous corporate response to which compounded Blizzard’s ongoing pipeline issues and the widespread perception that its online games are in decline. Multiple state and federal agencies are investigating the company as employees strike and call for Bobby Kotick’s resignation. As of 2022, the company is being acquired by no less than Microsoft.
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