Activision Blizzard Workers Form Gaming Industry’s First Major Union

A group of workers at the video game giant Activision Blizzard have voted decisively to unionize, giving organized labor a toehold in an industry known for its grueling schedules.

A ballot count held Monday by the National Labor Relations Board showed 19 employees of Activision Blizzard subsidiary Raven Software were in favor of joining the Communications Workers of America union, while just three employees were opposed. The board has not certified the results yet to make them official.

The union would be the first at a major U.S. gaming company.

The Raven workers are Wisconsin-based quality assurance testers who make sure the studio’s games run well for users. They make up a fraction of the overall Activision Blizzard workforce but signify an important toehold for organized labor inside the company. The union would represent about 30 workers, according to NLRB filings.

Pro-union employees have been organizing at Raven under the name Game Workers Alliance, saying brutal schedules have taken a toll on their physical and mental health. They’ve called for pay equity and more transparency from management, and cited “continued cultural and ethical conflicts” within the broader company.

Raven laid off a dozen quality assurance workers in December, prompting a walkout threat by remaining staffers, who said the job cuts “go directly against the positive culture that Raven has created over the years.”

The following month, workers told Raven leadership that a majority had signed union cards, and they asked that management voluntarily recognize the union and start bargaining a first contract. The company declined, so workers filed for an election with the NLRB.

Activision Blizzard asked the labor board to enlarge the bargaining unit to encompass more than 200 workers, a common tactic employers use to dilute union support. Board officials turned down the company’s request, setting the stage for this month’s mail-in election.

Activision Blizzard, which produces the Call of Duty and World of Warcraft franchises, has been rocked by allegations of sexual harassment and discrimination in recent years. The company recently reached an $18 million settlement with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, while the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing is pursuing its own lawsuit against the company alleging a toxic “bro culture.”

On Monday, Bloomberg reported that labor board officials were pursuing a case against Activision Blizzard, accusing the company of illegally retaliating against pro-union workers. The company denied the allegations.



Source link

Latest

The Former Electrical Engineer Leading Disney’s Streaming Strategy

Ms. Dakhil, however, decided to investigate for herself. “I...

Three leagues, three titles for Avalanche’s Bednar: ‘A hell of a coach’

DENVER -- All the lengthy bus rides, all the...

‘Truth Hurts’: Arizona’s Republican AG Tells Hecklers To ‘Shut The Hell Up’

Arizona’s Republican attorney general recently lashed out at hecklers...

RDA inflows rise to $4.356 billion in May

Inflow of remittances under Roshan Digital Account (RDA) rose...

The Former Electrical Engineer Leading Disney’s Streaming Strategy

Ms. Dakhil, however, decided to investigate for herself. “I made a concerted effort to get to know Kareem and have been pleasantly surprised,” she...

‘At Their Breaking Point’: Tenants Fight to Stay in Their Homes

Rocio Quero Yescas is 56 and walks with a cane, and she fears she will trip and fall because the floor tiles in her...

More Than 400,000 Solar-Powered Umbrellas Recalled Over Fire Risk

The authorities have recalled more than 400,000 solar-powered umbrellas sold at Costco because of overheating and fire risks.The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, which...