Microsoft won’t block unionization efforts at Activision Blizzard • Eurogamer.net

Response to letter by QA staff at Raven Software.

Microsoft will not object to Activision Blizzard recognizing unionization efforts from its staff.

As reported by Axios, Microsoft responded to a letter from Activision staff at Call of Duty studio Raven Software looking to unionise.

QA testers at the studio announced their intent to unionize back in January. Their bid continued despite Activision Blizzard missing the deadline to acknowledge their efforts.

Following the announcement of Microsoft’s $69bn takeover from the publisher, staff sent a letter to CEO Satya Nadella requesting information on the company’s involvement in approving or denying unionization efforts.

It additionally asks: “[W]hat conditions, if any, will Microsoft put on the collective bargaining process?”

A Microsoft spokesperson responded to Axios, stating: “Microsoft will not stand in the way if Activision Blizzard recognizes a union.

“Microsoft respects Activision Blizzard employees’ right to choose whether to be represented by a labor organization and we will honor those decisions.”

The Washington Post also acquired the letter, reporting it denounces the involvement of law firm Reed Smith, which published anti-union material on its website.

“I hope that you will agree that this demeaning and insulting approach to employees who are seeking to improve their workplace should not be tolerated,” reads the letter.

The Game Workers Alliance set up by staff at Raven Software is yet to respond publicly to Microsoft’s comments, though earlier this month it reiterated its intention to unionise.

“With a protected voice on the job we will compel management to listen & implement changes we know will not just benefit Raven QA, but will send a message across the industry,” reads a tweet. “That is why we will not stop organizing.”

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The ABetterABK workers alliance is also continuing to fight for unionization.

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A new lawsuit has also been filed against Activision Blizzard, following fresh allegations of sexual harassment and discrimination.

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