Thursday, July 7, 2022

Activision Blizzard Reportedly Sent Anti-Union Notice Before Voting Deadline

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The management of Raven Software, the subsidiary of Activision Blizzard that Duty games, has reportedly tried to convince its employees to vote against unionization. According to The Washington Posthas been messaging Raven management and holding town hall meetings ahead of the May 20 election deadline.

At a meeting on April 26, company management suggested that unionization could not only hinder game development but also affect promotions and benefits. After that meeting, The mail says management has sent employees an email with a more direct message: “Please vote no.” However, the Raven employees the publication spoke to said the company’s efforts were ineffective and they still voted yes to unionization.

This saga began late last year when Raven suddenly fired about a third of the group’s QA testers after months of promising better compensation. Activision Blizzard workers held a weeklong strike in support of the QA staff, while union activities began at the same time. Since then, Activision has been trying to discourage workers from unionizing.

Activision VP of QA Chris Arends reportedly told team members in a Slack meeting that a “union does nothing to help us produce world-class games, and the negotiation process is usually slow, often reduces flexibility and can be hostile and lead to negative publicity.” However, the National Labor Relations Board has authorized quality assurance testers to hold a union vote in April, and workers sent in their ballots by mail for the past month. We’ll find out soon enough if Activision’s alleged union-destruction efforts are effective soon enough: The NLRB will count the ballots via videoconference on May 23.

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