Activision Blizzard Raven Software’s QA Workers’ Guild, Game Workers Alliance (GWA), has successfully completed a union vote.
On the 24th, GWA posted a photo along with the phrase ‘We won!’ on social media to announce the victory in the union recognition vote. With the successful union formation, GWA became the second game company union in North America to be recognized after Video Games last December. Considering that Video Games is a small developer with fewer than 20 employees, GWA is also the first union in a major game group under Activision.
A total of 22 people participated in this voting, of which 19 votes were in favor.
The formation of GWA began in December of last year after a layoff occurred. Activision announced the layoffs of a number of QA staff at the time, and Raven Software employees went on strike for weeks. After that, they formed the GWA together with the Communications Workers of America in January and demanded the company’s recognition of the organization.
Meanwhile, Jessica Gonzalez of A Better ABK, formed after a large-scale lawsuit against harassment and discriminatory work practices, also shared an insider message from Chris Arend, Vice President of QA at Activision, in February. In a Slack message, he emphasized support for the right to form a union, but said unions could reduce the flexibility of the bargaining process for company management and employees and could lead to hostile and negative publicity. He also said that this sequence of processes can impair your ability to make great games.
Activision said in a statement to a number of local media that it respected the right to form a union, but said important decisions that would affect Raven Software, which have about 350 employees, should not be made by 19 employees. Meanwhile, GWA announced that it expects to work with management to positively shape working conditions and the future of Activision Blizzard through strong union contracts.
Raven Software assists the developers of Activision, which develops Call of Duty, such as Sledgehammer Games, Infinity Ward, and Trey Arc, to develop various franchise works.
Checkout: Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 – (Unit 141 reunited) Released on October 28th