Seven weeks after going on strike, the quality assurance workers of Raven Software are officially unionizing with Communication Workers of America.
The Game Workers Alliance is the first group of workers to unionize under Activision-Blizzard, and comes in the midst of both an ongoing lawsuit against the company for its workplace culture, and an acquisition by Microsoft earlier this week. According to a statement issued to Polygon by CWA, 78% of eligible workers are supporting the union.
“Today, I am proud to join with a supermajority of my fellow workers to build our union, Game Workers Alliance (CWA),” Raven Software QA tester Becka Aigner says. “In the video game industry, specifically Raven QA, people are passionate about their jobs and the content they are creating. We want to make sure that the passion from these workers is accurately reflected in our workplace and the content we make. Our union is how our collective voices can be heard by leadership.”
Word of attempts at unionization between Activision-Blizzard employees started spreading last year, which prompted union-busting nonsense from leadership, and even reports of threats being levied toward workers attempting to organize. The CWA is asking that Activision-Blizzard acknowledge the union.
“We ask that Activision Blizzard management respect Raven QA workers by voluntarily recognizing CWA’s representation without hesitation,” Communications Workers of America secretary-treasurer Sara Steffens said in a statement. “A collective bargaining agreement will give Raven QA employees a voice at work, improving the games they produce and making the company stronger. Voluntary recognition is the rational way forward.”
More on Activision-Blizzard:
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Raven QA testers began a strike in December following the unexpected layoffs of workers, some of which had relocated to Wisconsin under the pretense of a return to in-person work.
January 22, 2022 Update by Andrea Shearon:
The Raven QA strike has ended while employees wait for a response to their request for voluntary recognition. “Pending the recognition of our union, the Raven QA strike has ended,” wrote an ABK Workers Alliance spokesperson on Twitter. “Unused strike funds are being stored for future organizing/strike efforts.”
In a follow-up comment, “pending” was stressed, noting it “refers to pending response from leadership. Either positive or negative We are acting in good faith and asking for good faith.”
Please no not misquote here media: we have asked to be recognized under GWA, *pending* refers to pending response from leadership. Either positive or negative. We are acting in good faith and asking for good faith. https://t.co/H8dOjsaXjO
— ABetterABK ???? ABK Workers Alliance (@ABetterABK) January 23, 2022