Twenty-one Raven Software QA employees have till May twentieth to submit their ballots in a historic online game trade union vote. Today the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) decreed that voting for the union would begin and that the voting unit would be composed of these 21 employees, towards Activision Blizzard’s argument that the voting unit ought to be opened to all Raven employees.
In a assertion to The Verge, Activision Blizzard spokesperson Rich George mentioned:
While we respect the NLRB course of, we’re disenchanted that a determination that would considerably influence the way forward for our complete studio will be made by fewer than 10% of our employees. We consider a direct relationship with crew members is the most effective path to reaching particular person and firm targets. We are reviewing authorized choices concerning a potential enchantment.”
This is a watershed second for these QA employees who started the journey toward unionization again in December 2021. After a round of layoffs hit the Activision Blizzard subsidiary studio, employees staged a walkout that became a sustained strike lasting 5 weeks. At the top of the strike, employees formally organized the Game Workers Alliance, the primary union in considered one of North America’s largest sport corporations.
Since then, Activision Blizzard has labored to undermine these unionization efforts. Its dispersed Raven QA employees throughout separate groups and argued that the voting unit for the pending union election ought to be open to all Raven employees thereby decreasing the possibility for its success. It additionally converted over 1000 contract and temporary QA employees to full-time and gave important raises in pay — raises that were not extended to Raven QA employees.
“We are so proud to announce that the NLRB ruled that our unit is eligible for election!” the Game Workers Alliance said in a tweet. “Thank you to everyone supporting our campaign since our initial strike up until this very moment! Time for democracy!”
We are so proud to announce that the NLRB dominated that our unit is eligible for election! Thank you to everybody supporting our marketing campaign since our preliminary strike up till this very second! Time for democracy! #WeAreRaven #WeAreGWA
— Game Workers Alliance #WeAreGWA (@WeAreGWA) April 22, 2022
Once ballots are submitted by the deadline, the NLRB will tally the votes. A supermajority of the voting unit should vote in favor of the union for it to be formally acknowledged and bargaining can start.
Microsoft is ready to purchase Activision Blizzard in a deal worth nearly $70 billion, although that deal isn’t anticipated to shut till Microsoft’s 2023 fiscal 12 months, which begins in July. Activision Blizzard will report earnings on Monday, April twenty fifth, although it will not have a convention name or challenge an earnings presentation.
Update April twenty second, 5:22PM ET: Added Game Workers Alliance tweet.