Game

NLRB decision leads to historic vote by Raven Software union

Raven Software quality assurance officers will vote, as a unit of 21, on whether to incorporate the National Labor Relations Board. rule on friday. The decision was made after Raven’s owner, Activision Blizzard, organization’s efforts are challenged and found a way to get the entire studio of 230 people to vote on unions.

The NLRB said all eligible Raven Software QA employees will be mailed ballots by April 29, and ballots will be counted May 23. If a majority of workers qualify. If they vote yes, their union, known as the Game Workers Union, will move on to contract negotiations with Activision Blizzard.

Activision Blizzard and Raven Software QA officers have been waiting for a decision from the NLRB since the hearing in February. In the testimony During that hearing, Raven Software management and employees were questioned about restructuring of the studiosin January, as it applies to union-eligible workers.

A spokesperson for Activision Blizzard told Polygon that the company will review its options regarding a potential appeal. The full statement is as follows:

While we respect the NLRB process, we are disappointed that a decision that could significantly affect the future of our entire studio would be made by less than 10% of our employees. We believe that a direct relationship with team members is the best route to achieving individual and corporate goals. We are looking at legal options regarding a potential appeal.

On social media, Raven Software QA staffers expressed excitement at agreeing to vote. The group thanked supporters in a message on Twitter: “We are proud to announce that the NLRB has ruled that our unit is eligible to participate in the election,” the group wrote. “Thank you to everyone who has supported our campaign since the initial strike until this point! Time for democracy! ”

Raven Software union push, in partnership with Communications Workers of America (CWA), begins January track employee walks after a group of contract employees with Raven Software was informed that they would not be among the 500 employees converted to new full-time positions last year. NLRB hearing regarding union scope begins shortly after Activision Blizzard voluntary refusal to recognize the group.

Since then, Activision Blizzard announced their intention was to convert another 1,000 QA employees to full-time positions, increase their pay by $20 per hour and give QA staff access to bonuses and benefits. Raven Software QA staff did not get the same pay rise at the time; Activision Blizzard argues that it is due to “legal obligations under the National Labor Relations Act”.

QA and contract workers in the video game industry are often seen as an unskilled department. In August, Activision Blizzard QA officer told Polygon that the QA contract cycles have created a system that makes it difficult for workers to advance or feel secure in their careers, in addition to the low wages and intense stress endemic to their jobs. . As a result, Friday’s Raven workers victory is a landmark decision, likely to affect the video game industry as a whole.

Microsoft prepares to buy Activision Blizzard in a deal worth $68.7 billion that will be reviewed by government regulators. Activision CEO Bobby Kotickwho had to face Calling for the resignation of Activision Blizzard workers and newspapers (including this store), will continue to lead the company, at least until the deal with Microsoft is finalized.

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