Activision: the QA testers of Call of Duty: Warzone propose the formation of a union (updated)

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After weeks of uninterrupted strike, i Raven Software’s QA testerthe Call of Duty: Warzone studio, have proposed the formation of a trade unionthe Game Workers Alliance, asking ad Activision Blizzard that this is officially recognized.

Update: we changed the news after having ascertained that the interpretation of numerous international sites on the matter is fundamentally wrong, as the union proposed by the QA Testers of Raven Software it has no legal validity unless it is officially recognized by Activision Blizzard, which in our opinion is quite unlikely. We also reported the press release published by the company in response to the Game Workers Alliance initiative, which you can find at the bottom of the news.

The Game Workers Alliance was created with the support of Communication Workers of America (CWA), the largest trade union in the US, and is currently made up of 34 testers from Raven Software (78% of the subsidiary’s QA department), who are now demanding that this union be voluntarily recognized by Activision Blizzard. The proposal comes after weeks of uninterrupted strike to protest the firing of 12 Call of Duty: Warzone QA testers.

Contrary to what is reported by most international newspapers, at the moment this syndicate has no validity unless it is officially recognized by Activision Blizzard, which legally it has all the conditions to refuse. As the in-depth video published by Hoeg Law points out at this address, in fact the unionization process requires a qualified majority vote and it is necessary that the group that proposes the union (in this case the QA testers of Raven Software) is deemed an appropriate contractual unit, i.e. a group of workers with common interests and that can reasonably join as a group for the purposes of collective bargaining (the question basically is: Raven Software’s QA testers represent a category of their own or share interests, objectives and contractual obligations with other employees of the studio or Activision Blizzard as a whole?).

In fact, unless there is an official recognition from Activision Blizzard, at the moment what has been done by the Game Workers Alliance and the Communication Workers of America is a internal survey without legal validity. However, this is a move that has drawn further media attention to the issue of the layoffs of Raven Software’s 12 QA Testers and which could spur further initiatives within Activision Blizzard.

Activision Blizzard

According to the release posted on the CWA website, the Game Wokers Alliance’s goal is to “ensure a workplace where everyone can thrive and set a new standard for workers across the industry” and that employees are not forced to crunch. In addition, the union wants to ensure that leadership “communicates openly and frequently any decisions that affect the working life of employees” and that QA testers receive adequate compensation and professional development opportunities.

“We demand that Raven Software and Activision Blizzard leadership voluntarily recognize our union and respect our right to organize without retaliation or interference,” the Game Workers Alliance release said. “We want to work together with leadership to create a healthy and prosperous work environment for all people, to develop successful and sustainable products and to support the enjoyment of our players.”

In response, Activision Blizzard issued a statement that reads:

“Activision Blizzard is scrutinizing the CWA’s voluntary recognition application, which seeks to organize around three dozen of the company’s nearly 10,000 employees. Although we believe a direct relationship between the company and its team members offers the best opportunities for strength. work, we deeply respect the rights of all employees under the law to make their own decisions on whether or not to join a union. ”

“At Activision Blizzard, we remain focused on listening to our employees and providing the improved pay, benefits and career opportunities needed to attract and retain the best talent in the world. Over the past two years, this has included increasing the minimum wage. 41% for Raven QA employees, the extension of paid leave, the expansion of access to medical benefits for employees and and the transition of more than 60% of Raven QA temporary staff to full-time employees. “

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