Activision Blizzard to follow legal obligation and recognise Warzone studio union

Activision Blizzard is officially acknowledging a union set up by quality assurance staff at Call of Duty: Warzone studio Raven Software, with “good faith” negotiations set to begin with the Communications Workers of America as a result.

In a letter to staff that’s now been made public (opens in new tab), Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick explains that, as the majority of the staff involved have chosen to be represented by the union, the company will engage in “good faith negotiations” to enter into a collective bargaining agreement, as is legally required. 

“While first labour contracts can take some time to complete, we will meet CWA leaders at the bargaining table and work toward an agreement that supports the success of all our employees, that further strengthens our commitment to create the industry’s best, most welcoming and inclusive workplace, and enhances our ability to deliver world class games for our players,” Kotick says.

Raven Software won the vote to be the first labour union at a major North American video game company last month, with the newly formed Game Workers Alliance being backed by the Communication Workers of America. 

A total of 28 Raven staffers were eligible to vote, though absences and invalidated ballots left the final count at 19 – 3, which proved to be more than enough for the union to move forward due to 86% of tallied votes going in its favour. 

The run-up to the new union hasn’t been entirely smooth, with workers accusing Activision Blizzard of trying to stop the formation of the union at “every step of the way”. The events follow an eight-week strike from QA staff that was sparked by the abrupt dismissal of studio contractors. 

In response, Activision Blizzard issued a statement explaining that, while the company believes in the right of all employees to “decide whether or not to support or vote for a union”, that it believes “an important decision that will impact the entire Raven Software studio of roughly 350 people should not be made by 19 Raven employees”. 

Here’s the majority of the Activision Blizzard lawsuit and investigations explained, for your convenience. 

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