The CWA blamed the studio's leadership for "demoralizing and disempowering" workers and making a "fair election impossible."
The Communication Workers of America announced that it is withdrawing its request for a unionization vote at Proletariat, the studio known for developing Spellbreak acquired by Blizzard last summer, marking a significant victory for Activision Blizzard in its efforts to prevent unionization among its employees.
The union has issued a statement alleging that Proletariat CEO Seth Sivak is viewing the workers' organizing efforts as a personal betrayal and conducting meetings with the studio's employees in an attempt to undermine those efforts.
"Unfortunately, Proletariat CEO Seth Sivak chose to follow Activision Blizzard’s lead and responded to the workers’ desire to form a union with confrontational tactics," the statement reads (via GamesIndustry.biz). "Like many founders, he took the workers’ concerns as a personal attack and held a series of meetings that demoralized and disempowered the group, making a free and fair election impossible."
The CWA also referenced the situation at Microsoft's ZeniMax studios and suggested that there is an alternative approach to empowering workers, one that allows having a "free and fair process, without intimidation or manipulation by the employer."
A group of workers at Proletariat studio announced their intention to form a union in December 2022 and stated that they already had the support of a sufficient number of studio employees to win a vote.
Activision Blizzard, however, refused to recognize the union and instead called for a formal vote with the National Labor Relations Board, claiming that this process would be "the fairest option" and would also allow employees to "get all the information and various points of view."
Last year, employees at two studios owned by Activision Blizzard, Raven Software and Blizzard Albany, successfully formed unions. However, the unions at those studios only covered the Quality Assurance staff. A unionization vote at Proletariat would have marked the first time that all employees at an Activision Blizzard studio in the United States would have unionized.
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