Quality assurance workers from Activision Blizzard's subsidiary Raven Software have successfully voted to join the Game Workers Alliance, becoming the first union at a major US studio.
Quality assurance workers at Raven Software, Activision Blizzard's subsidiary responsible for Call of Duty: Warzone, have successfully voted to join the Game Workers Alliance (GWA), becoming the first union at a major North American game studio and the second in the US gaming industry.
The votes were tallied on May 23, and the results showed that 19 employees voted in favor of forming a union and three voted against it.
Members of GWA said in a statement: "Now that we’ve won our election, it is our duty to protect these foundational values on which our union stands."
"We respect and believe in the right of all employees to decide whether or not to support or vote for a union," Activision Blizzard spokesperson commented (via Kotaku). "We believe that an important decision that will impact the entire Raven Software studio of roughly 350 people should not be made by 19 Raven employees."
Raven employees announced the formation of a union with the Communication Workers of America in January 2022 and wanted Activision Blizzard to voluntarily recognize it, although at the time the company did not cooperate with the union. The employees then applied to the US National Labor Relations Administration to seek official confirmation.
The formation of the union followed December protests when 60 Raven employees resigned after the studio’s decision to lay off 12 of their co-workers. Some of the Raven staff later were on strike demanding the company reverse the layoffs.
Now that the group is now legally recognized by the National Labor Relations Board it can officially move into contract negotiations with Activision Blizzard to secure better pay and improved working conditions.
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