Workers at Blizzard-owned Proletariat say management refused its union and is ‘forcing’ them to go through NLRB voting


At the tail end of December, we reported that Blizzard-owned studio Proletariat was forming a union known as the Proletariat Workers Alliance. The announcement confirmed that the fledgling union would fall under the Communication Workers of America banner and that the union would ask management to formally recognize its creation. According to a statement shared by CODE-CWA, that has not happened.

Union representatives say that both Proletariat leadership and Activision management refused requests to talk about neutrality and is forcing workers to organize through the NLRB voting process despite claims that the supermajority of employees at Proletariat signed union cards. The statement also says that management held an “inappropriate” town hall meeting full of “anti-union influence” on the same day that ZeniMax QA workers formed their own union.

“[Management’s] actions this week have been right out of the union-busting playbook used by Activision and so many others,” reads the statement. “We can decide for ourselves if we want a union. We don’t need help from management. We need – and deserve – respect and neutrality. We want to do right by our team and collaborate with management without contention.”

Readers will remember that Activision-Blizzard gleefully trying to bust unions is not news as outlined in the list below, and the two times it tried to stop the NLRB voting process for both Raven Software QA and Blizzard Albany QA failed.

source: 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 unionize and call for Bobby Kotick’s resignation. As of 2023, the company is being acquired by no less than Microsoft.
Blizzard offered this statement from an unnamed spokesperson:

“Shortly after the CWA filed a petition for union election at Proletariat, some employees said they felt pressured to sign union cards, were inadequately informed about what they were signing and what it meant when they signed. Given this fact, we strongly believe an anonymous vote is the fairest option. Many employees have requested it, as it gives them the chance to collect facts and insights about such an important decision without any external pressure. We want to ensure that all employees can make their voices heard, as this is their decision.”

The statement, of course, is unverifiable and not even attributed to a specific Blizzard exec.

Proletariat’s union group has tweeted to clarify who was issuing its statements and on whose behalf, as CODE-CWA had originally used the phrase “Proletariat workers” instead of “Proletariat Workers Alliance”:

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