Activision Blizzard’s Raven Software Workers Win Union Vote

Workers at a division of Activision Blizzard voted to form a union on May 23, the first at a major United States video game company.

A small group of quality assurance testers at Activision Blizzard’s Raven Software game studio voted 19 to three in favor of unionizing.

The Milwaukee office of the National Labor Relations Board counted the ballots mailed in April via videoconference.

The group, known as Game Workers Alliance and which is responsible for the quality assurance of the popular “Call of Duty” game franchise, will negotiate contracts with Activision Blizzard, supported by the Communications Workers of America’s Campaign to Organize Digital Employees.

“Our biggest hope is that our union serves as inspiration for the growing movement of workers organizing at video game studios to create better games and build workplaces that reflect our values and empower all of us. We look forward to working with management to positively shape our working conditions and the future of Activision Blizzard through a strong union contract,” the Alliance said in a statement.

In a statement quoted by The Guardian, Activision Blizzard said that it respected the right of workers to vote to unionize but criticized the way the workers were being classified.

“We believe that an important decision that will impact the entire Raven Software studio of roughly 350 employees should not be made by fewer than 10% of Raven employees,” the company said.

The union election victory came after Activision Blizzard settled a lawsuit filed against them by the California Department of Fair Employment over allegations of sexual harassment, gender discrimination, and “frat boy” culture in the workplace.


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