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A group of 28 employees at Activision Blizzard studio Raven Software have won their bid to form a union.
The workers from the Call of Duty: Warzone studio formed the Game Workers Alliance back in January and announced their intention to become a formal union. A ballot then took place with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) this past month. As reported by the Washington Post, the ballot passed last night with 19 in favour and 3 against. Both parties have until May 31 to file an objection before the outcome becomes official.
One of those who voted for the union was Becka Aigner, a quality assurance tester for Raven. She said of the outcome “Now that the fight for recognition is through, we can focus our efforts on negotiations. We’ll fight for respect, fight for better wages, better benefits, better work-life balance, fight for sustainability and job security, and continue to fight for our fellow workers in solidarity.”
Activision Blizzard spokesperson Jessica Taylor offered the Washington Post a statement of their own. “We respect and believe in the right of all employees to decide whether or not to support or vote for a union. We believe that an important decision that will impact the entire Raven Software studio of roughly 350 people should not be made by 19 of Raven employees. We’re committed to doing what’s best for the studio and our employees.”
The ruling will mark the first union for Activision Blizzard employees and the first at a major publisher. It’ll also be only the second official union in US video game history. Back in December, members of the QA team held walkouts over job cuts at Raven Software. Of course, earlier this year, Microsoft agreed to buy Activision Blizzard for $68.7 billion USD.
Happy union day! We won! pic.twitter.com/nzJ4A3J3RB
— Game Workers Alliance 💙#WeAreGWA (@WeAreGWA) May 23, 2022