Quality assurance workers at Raven Software announced they are forming a union and want Activision Blizzard to voluntarily recognize it. The company stated it is “carefully reviewing the request".
Quality assurance workers at Activision Blizzard's Raven Software announced they are forming a union with the Communication Workers of America (CWA). Raven's employees who were responsible for Call of Duty: Warzone wanted the company to voluntarily recognize their group called the Game Workers Alliance.
According to the Raven Software employees, the Game Workers Alliance includes 78 percent in the quality assurance division of Raven. Previously, more than 60 Raven employees resigned in December to protest the studio’s decision to lay off 12 of their co-workers. Since then, some of the Raven staff have been on strike demanding the company to reverse the layoffs.
Erin Hall, a Raven quality assurance worker who participated in organizing the new union, shared that she hoped that unionizing would bring better job security. "This is just the best thing for us and our company going forward, for us to have a voice,” she said. Another Raven employee, QA tester Becka Aigner, spoke: “Today, I am proud to join with a supermajority of my fellow workers to build our union, Game Workers Alliance (CWA). ... 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.”
As the CWA representative reported in an interview with Polygon, Activision Blizzard has not cooperated with the union yet. CWA also reported the company “used surveillance and intimidation tactics, including hiring notorious union busters, to silence workers.” Activision Blizzard later issued a statement where it said the company was “carefully reviewing the request for voluntary recognition from the CWA". "While we believe that a direct relationship between the company and its team members delivers the strongest workforce opportunities, we deeply respect the rights of all employees under the law to make their own decisions about whether or not to join a union," Activision stated.
Last Tuesday, Microsoft announced its ambition to acquire Activision Blizzard including Raven Software for $68.7 billion. When the deal is finalized in 2023, Activision Blizzard employees will report to Microsoft Gaming CEO Phil Spencer. Bobby Kotick will remain as Activision Blizzard CEO until then, although, currently, the workers request his resignation in consequence of numerous lawsuits and federal investigations into the company's working culture.