Updated 8:20 p.m. ET: Activision Blizzard released a statement confirming it won't be recognizing the union.
What you need to know
- Activision Blizzard has not responded to Raven Software QA workers' call to unionize by the deadline Tuesday evening.
- The company also announced its plan to reorganize the QA team across multiple departments following the unionization announcement.
- QA union members will now file for a union election.
Activision Blizzard has not responded to Raven Software QA workers' request to unionize Tuesday, meaning the union is set to file for a union election with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). This comes on the heels of a reorganization of the company's QA department, which was conveyed to workers on Monday, according to Polygon.
The Washington Post reported the news on the union deadline, adding that the union can file with the NLRB. Once that goes through, Activision Blizzard needs to start bargaining with the union in earnest.
It's been a few days since Raven Software QA workers announced it would be planning to unionize into the Game Workers Alliance after ending a seven-week-long strike last week. The strike was in recognition of the QA contractors who were laid off in December.
This would be the first video game union at a major publisher in North America (workers from Vodeo Games organized the first union in the industry late last year). The Communications Workers of America (CWA) worked with the ABetterABK workers alliance, the group that formed immediately following the toxic workplace lawsuit.
On Monday, Activision notified QA workers that it would be reorganizing. Instead of a dedicated QA department, it would be spreading them out among the different departments.
"This change will enhance the collaborative work our teams do to support our games and players and make the opportunities for our talented QA staff even stronger," a spokesperson told Polygon.
While Polygon reports that the embedded model is common at the company, the CWA claims it's an anti-union tactic.
"When Management uses meaningless buzzwords like 'alignment, 'synergy,' and 'reorganization,' they are sending a message to workers: 'we make all the decisions, we have all the power,'" the CWA tweeted today. "Whether it's covering up sexual harassment, employee surveillance, workplace abuse or violating workers rights, Activision Blizzard seems determined to take the low road." You can read the full statement in the thread below.
Yesterday Activision Blizzard broadcasted their plans to restructure the Raven Software Quality Assurance department in order to bring the group ‘...into alignment with the best practices of other prominent Activision studios.’Yesterday Activision Blizzard broadcasted their plans to restructure the Raven Software Quality Assurance department in order to bring the group ‘...into alignment with the best practices of other prominent Activision studios.’— CODE-CWA (@CODE_CWA) January 25, 2022January 25, 2022
We've reached out to Activision Blizzard for comment and will update if we hear back.
Raven Software, known for its work on the Call of Duty series, is one of many companies that are a part of Microsoft's nearly $70 billion Activision Blizzard acquisition.
Update: Activision Blizzard won't recognize union
In a statement to Polygon, an Activision Blizzard spokesperson confirmed that the company won't be voluntarily recognizing the union, noting that while it "deeply" respects the rights of employees to unionize, it could not reach an agreement.
You can read the full statement below:
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