Activision is back on its union squashing horse after refusing to voluntarily recognize the recently formed Raven Software QA union, Game Worker Alliance and is looking to force a vote with the National Labour Review Board.
The recent Microsoft acquisition is calling for a vote with the board to officially recognize that will include everyone at the studio which could greatly decrease the recent union’s chance of being recognized. Raven’s Software QA department revealed last week that they organized to form a union with the Communications Workers of America (CWA), the decision within the QA unit had supermajority support. The news is off the heels of Activision’s ongoing workplace sexual harassment and discrimination allegations from last year.
“We carefully reviewed and considered the CWA initial request last week and tried to find a mutually acceptable solution with the CWA that would have led to an expedited election process,” Activision Blizzard said in a statement tonight upon rejecting the offer.
“Unfortunately, the parties could not reach an agreement. We expect that the union will be moving forward with the filing of a petition to the NLRB for an election. If filed, the company will respond formally to that petition promptly.”
They add that “all Raven employees” should “have a say” with each employee getting an individual vote on QA’s department right to unionize. The understated message in that statement from Activision is if you want to unionize, a majority of the studio has to agree.
“Once again, when management is given a choice, they always seem to take the low road. However, we are proud to file with the NLRB as we enjoy supermajority support for our union and know that together, we will gain the formal legal recognition we have earned,” Game Workers Alliance said on Twitter.
Activision and the studio have their own politics on unions as The Washington Post and Polygon report that the head of Raven Software, Brian Raffel, has discussed with staff about plans to break up QA and testers from their teams.
“[S]o long as we are testing, we are a unit that is linked by our function within the studio. Our solidarity won’t be broken by something like a reorganization,” Raven QA tester, Onah Rongstad said in an interview with The Washington Post.