News - Updated on May 24, 2022

Talk about what testers Raven Software going to form a union, have been going for several months. The day before, the situation has crossed the Rubicon: a formal vote was held, according to the results of which the Alliance of Game Workers was recognized at the federal level. This is the first official union among major game studios in the United States.

According to the media, the voters represented the interests of 28 employees of the quality control department. Raven. As a result, 19 votes were in favor of the creation of a trade union, three were against, and two more votes were contested. The process was monitored by a representative of the US National Labor Relations Administration. He stated that the contested votes were not enough to affect the outcome, so the vote ended in favor of forming a union.

Members of the Game Workers Alliance can now start negotiations with Activision Blizzard about the terms of the first contract – the union will certainly demand improvements in terms of salaries and other labor issues.

Game Workers Alliance logo. It was created in the wake of the Raven scandals, and the Communication Workers of America (officially recognized) and A Better ABK (another self-proclaimed labor organization within Activision Blizzard; not officially recognized) helped organize it.

The parties reacted to the results in different ways:

Activision Blizzard worked tirelessly to prevent us from forming a union. But we stood our ground. Now that we have won the vote, it is our duty to defend the fundamental values ​​on which our union stands.

Game Workers Alliance Members in Joint Statement

We respect all of our employees and believe that they should have the right to choose whether or not they support the formation of a union. We also believe that such an important decision that will affect the entire Raven Software with a staff of about 350 people, should not be determined by 19 employees Raven.

Representative Activision Blizzard in a comment for Kotaku

According to some workers, Activision Blizzard threatened those who wanted to discuss working conditions, salaries, and ongoing culture investigations within the company — the threats were covered up by “excessively broad social media rules.” Shortly before the vote, the National Labor Relations Board said it believes the allegations are justified and is launching an investigation.

Even if we leave these accusations out of the brackets (after all, they have not yet been proven in court), Activision Blizzard clearly did not want to see an official trade union in its composition: for example, in January the company refused to voluntarily recognize the Alliance of Game Workers.

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