ActivisionBlizzard has faced various problems in the past year. From accusations of abuse, lawsuits of all kinds and labor strikes. It was in this context, where in early 2022 it was announced that quality control workers at Raven Software, a studio in charge of Call of Duty: Warzonethey intended to create the first union in an AAA company in the United States. After almost six months of fighting, this process has been made official today.
Today, May 23, 2022, a vote was held where the 22 members of Raven Software decided to have their union recognized by the National Labor Relations Board, or NLRB in English. At the end of this event, which was streamed on Twitch, 19 people voted in favor, with three in opposition. Thus, the long process, which began last January, finally had a positive result. Here’s what Tom Smith, organizing director of the Communications Workers of America, or CWA, said:
“The Board’s decision reinforces what workers have been experiencing at Activision when trying to raise concerns about serious issues at the company. To rebuild trust in Activision, Bobby Kotick needs to get on the right track and start listening to workers instead of going to great lengths, including breaking the law, to silence them.”
This was not an easy process. Activision Blizzard did their best to get the syndicate destroyed as soon as possible. From not recognizing this group of employees, going through different difficulties in the officialization process, to the full-time hiring and balance increase of all the members of the company’s quality control, with the exception of the employees who were working to form the union.
At the end of the day, It will be these people who now hold the power in negotiations over better wages, job security, and corporate responsibility. At the moment there is no official response from Activision Blizzard, but this is a historic moment for the video game industry in the United States.
Considering the situation in other large companies, It would not be unreasonable for this to be just the beginning of a long transformation in the video game industry in this country.. On related issues, Microsoft is not against this union. Similarly, Nintendo has been accused of a bad relationship with part-time workers.
This is very good news. It was almost six months of a long struggle, but at the end of the day, the people of Raven Software achieved their goal, which is a fantastic achievement that I hope will be repeated in more companies.