Communications Workers of America filed a unfair labor practices complaint with Activision Blizzard, accusing the company of retaliating against workers for its efforts to unionize. If you recall, the quality assurance staff at Activision studio Raven Software announced their plans to unionize in January. This is after Activision laid off 12 QA contractors despite Raven’s wishes to continue. Workers at the studio went on strike after the incident, demanding that all contractors be hired as full-time employees.
In its complaint to the National Labor Relations Board, CWA accused the company of violating federal law by terminating these QA employees. The group also has Activision’s Revised the studio by disbanding the QA team and placing testers in other departments just days after they demanded union recognition. In addition, Activision Blizzard allegedly withheld salaries and benefits in April in response to workers’ unionization efforts.
According to previous reports, the company also actively and strongly discouraged workers from voting to unionize. Union organizer Jessica Gonzalez bring out Chris Arends, Activision’s VP of QA, posted a message on Twitter in January on a locked Slack channel that curtailed the benefits of syndication. “A syndicate does nothing to help us produce top-notch games, and the bargaining process is typically not quick, often reducing flexibility and can be hostile and lead to negative publicity,” Arends said.
by a piece Washington post He also said the company’s management had held town meetings to discourage workers from organizing and sent emails with a message that read “Please vote no.” These efforts were unsuccessful, and the CWA won the Raven election to unionize by 3 votes to 19. Before the vote, Xbox head Phil Spencer said he would recognize a Raven alliance once Microsoft’s acquisition of the developer is complete.
Game Workers Alliance/CWA organizing committee members Erin Hall, Lau Nebel-Malone and Marie Carroll said:
“The reshuffling and withholding of salary increases and other benefits, and the company’s failure to rehire laid-off QA testers, were Activision’s attempts to intimidate us and interfere with our union selection in violation of the National Labor Relations Act.”
Meanwhile, an Activision spokesperson disputed the allegations in a statement. Bloomberg:
“We respect and believe in the right of all employees to decide whether to support or vote for a union, and retaliation of any kind will not be tolerated.”
As the news outlet noted, complaints to the NLRB are being reviewed by regional offices. If they are found to be right and not adjudicated, they may be prosecuted by the institution’s general counsel.
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