Raven workers accuse Activision-Blizzard of ‘continued intransigence’ during union negotiations


Yesterday, we went in-depth on some of the ways Activision-Blizzard is attempting to obstruct the union forming within Diablo IV substudio Blizzard Albany, but today we turn our eyeballs back to the union already voted on within Activision’s Raven Software, where apparently the company has moved from union-blocking to dragging its heels and sucking as much money out of the process as possible.

Readers might recall that last week, Communications Workers Alliance filed yet another unfair labor practice complaint against the company over CCO Lulu Cheng Meservey’s one-sided union-busting comments in a company-wide Slack channel. Among her comments were alleged insults and threats regarding the Raven union’s negotiations with Blizzard as she tried to convince the Albany workers (who’d just been approved to vote on their union) that the Raven union is ineffective. “[T]here have only been three bargaining sessions since the union was certified there almost 6 months ago, due partly to the union cancelling pre-planned bargaining sessions for a month,” she wrote.

At the time, that line leaped out at me as being likely deceptive (the word “partly” seems loadbearing, eh?), but the rest of the email was so much worse (and complaint-inducing) that everyone blew past it. Apparently, we shouldn’t have, as when Activision-Blizzard suggests the process is going slowly, what it actually means is that it’s making the process go slowly in attempt to stall it and other worker movements.

Yesterday, the Game Workers Alliance at Raven Software published a blog post discussing the state of those negotiations, and it appears that it’s Activision-Blizzard once again dragging its feet on literally everything. “Continued intransigence” is the exact phrase GWA used. Notably, it accused Activision-Blizzard of:

  • “[refusing] to bargain during the day unless the Union paid for the missed time of workers,” which GWA went ahead and did so it couldn’t be used as a delay tactic;
  • refused to respond to demands to make permanent all the workers who weren’t made permanent back when ATVI was making workers permanent in an attempt to stall the union (which the NLRB just found was a violation of labor law and plans to prosecute) – same for the wage increases used by the company as unionbusting;
  • refused to back down on the “management rights” proposal that essentially strips workers of basic employment rights;
  • would not discuss reproductive health care assurances for workers, remote work, wage increases, grievance and arbitration policies, or the codification of job descriptions;
  • demanded its own grievance policy to file complaints against the union.

As Kotaku notes, this situation, in addition to the desperate appeal made by Albany execs, appears to cement suspicions that Activision-Blizzard is not approaching worker organizing in good faith despite its protestations and in fact is attempting to delay the process as much as possible.

Source: GWA via Kotaku
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