Raven Software QA Workers Have Formed Game Workers Alliance Union
Raven Software QA workers responsible for Call of Duty: Warzone QA are forming a union with Communication Workers of America (CWA), the unionizing group will be known as the Game Workers Alliance.
The Game Workers Alliance will be the first union to form under Activision Blizzard and the group is asking the recent Microsoft acquisition to recognize the union. Currently, the union has the support of the “supermajority” of Raven Software QA workers, which is 78 percent of eligible workers, according to a CWA representative who told Polygon.
“Today, I am proud to join with a supermajority of my fellow workers to build our union, Game Workers Alliance (CWA). In the video game industry, specifically Raven QA, people are passionate about their jobs and the content they are creating. 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,” Raven Software QA tester, Becka Aigner said in a news release.
A group of Raven Software QA workers were on strike back in early December, the strike included “several dozens” of workers according to the Washington Post. The decision to strike came after Activision Blizzard denied new contracts for 12 members of Raven Software’s QA team. The CWA says that Activision Blizzard hasn’t worked with organizers but rather use “surveillance and intimidation tactics, including hiring notorious union busters, to silence workers.”
“We ask that Activision Blizzard management respect Raven QA workers by voluntarily recognizing CWA’s representation without hesitation. A collective bargaining agreement will give Raven QA employees a voice at work, improving the games they produce and making the company stronger. Voluntary recognition is the rational way forward,” Communications Workers of America secretary-treasurer, Sara Steffens said in a statement.
In response, Activision Blizzard has released a statement in response to Game Workers Alliance’s request for voluntarily recognition.
“Activision Blizzard is carefully reviewing the request for voluntary recognition from the CWA, which seeks to organize around three dozen of the company’s nearly 10,000 employees. 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 Blizzard said in a statement.
“Across Activision Blizzard, we remain focused on listening closely to our employees and providing the improved pay, benefits and professional opportunities needed to attract and retain the world’s best talent. Over the past couple of years, this has included raising minimum compensation for Raven QA employees by 41%, extending paid time off, expanding access to medical benefits for employees and significant others, and transitioning more than 60% of temporary Raven QA staff into full-time employees.”