In January, following the strike regarding Raven Software QA workers being denied new contracts, some of the workers created a new union called the Game Workers Alliance. After its inception, the newly formed union moved forward despite recognition from Activision Blizzard. The votes were cast and after 19 out of 22 votes in favor of the union, the Game Workers Alliance for Activision Blizzard has become the first video game union in North America at a major AAA company. This marks the second formal video game union in North America. The first union was created and formed at Vodeo Games.
Happy union day! We won! pic.twitter.com/nzJ4A3J3RB
— Game Workers Alliance 💙#WeAreGWA (@WeAreGWA) May 23, 2022
“Our biggest hope is that our union serves as inspiration for the growing movement of workers organizing at video game studios to create better games and build workplaces that reflect our values and empower all of us,” said Game Workers Alliance in an official statement. “We look forward to working with management to positively shape our working conditions and the future of Activision Blizzard through a strong union contract.”
28 employees were eligible to vote, 24 votes were submitted, and two votes were challenged and rendered invalid. Now, the Game Workers Alliance can bargain with Activision Blizzard management over employment contracts.
“We respect and believe in the right of all employees to decide whether or not to support or vote for a union,” an Activision Blizzard spokesperson said. “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.” According to US labor board prosecutors, Activision Blizzard allegedly illegally threatened staff and enforced a social media policy that conflicts with workers’ collective action rights. If Activision Blizard doesn’t settle, the National Labor Relations Board will issue a formal complaint.
In an emailed statement, company spokesperson Jessica Taylor said ” “These allegations are false. Employees may and do talk freely about these workplace issues without retaliation, and our social media policy expressly incorporates employees’ NLRA rights.”