business news Activision-Blizzard: Call of Duty Warzone testers for the first time ever!
This is a case that has been going on for several months. QA testers from Raven Software, the studio behind Call of Duty, just won their case and achieved their first historic result as part of the AAA studio.
The strike and a particularly difficult context
Late last year, QA testers at Raven Software went on strike. challenge the dismissal of a dozen testersto Activision-Blizzard would promise a full-time job with a range of benefits.
The strike lasted several weeks and caused a commotion with repetition of complaints for harassment, sexual harassment and discrimination. Part of this case was settled after $18 million fund agreementthe rest is still in progress.
First acknowledged union at Triple A studio
But on the side of Raven Software there is a movement led to a desire to found a representative trade unionwhat very far from ordinary in the USA. Therefore, the first request was submitted, but Activision-Blizzard did not respond in time, given that the direct message more relevant than an alliance that “slows everything down.” Elements of language that can be found in many American and global companies and which therefore it is not the prerogative of the publisher.
Due to this lack of response, Activision-Blizzard did not recognize the desire to form a union, forcing workers pass an internal vote after filing a file with the National Labor Relations Board. The file was reviewed and a vote took place on April 29, inviting 28 people go to the polls. As expected, the count took place yesterday, Monday, April 23, 2022, which allowed us to know the result.
Eligible workers who have since joined a union America’s Communications Workers (approximately 700,000 members), so were able to attend victory of their movement by 19 votes for and 3 against in a video conference. The 6 missing votes are null or do not exist. Syndicate, Thus, the Game Workers Alliance was officially recognized by the American state.which first in AAA studio.
The result of this election, the vote of the people who came together to vote for this alliance, is further proof that even a small group of people in Madison, Wisconsin can take on giant top-notch studios like Activision and come out victorious on the other side. . Now that the struggle for recognition is over, we can focus our efforts on negotiations.
We will fight for respect, we will fight for higher wages, better benefits, better work-life balance, we will fight for sustainability and job security, and we will continue to fight for our colleagues out of solidarity,” the tester said. Raven Software. Becca Aigner.
Therefore, on the part of Activision-Blizzard, we were obliged formally recognize the unionwhich went through a press release written Jessica Taylorpublisher representative.
We respect and believe in the right of all employees to decide whether or not to vote for a union. We believe that a major decision that will affect the entire Raven Software studio of about 350 people should not be made by 19 Raven employees. We strive to do what is best for the studio and our staff.
The battle is far from over, but it sets a precedent
Thus, between the leadership of the publishing house and a very young union, which, according to Bloomberg, internal emails in which management indicated that the union could not guarantee higher wages, and that contracts often “end of flexible working hours”.
From now on, Activision-Blizzard must face allegations from the Department of Labor, which is reportedly investigating threats from Activision-Blizzard management against employeesbut also public statements that will harm the rights of workers in terms of collective action. Bloomberg claims that the ministry already has a certain amount of evidence, but Activision disputes, stating that “These claims are false”. Anyway, this is a vote sets an industry precedentand many developers can exploit this gap.
Even more exciting than what this means for us at Raven is the precedent this sets for the gaming industry Quality testers are underpaid and exploited, this is the norm and together with the unions we can change that. I hope our union is the first of many quality assurance unions and I can’t wait to see which studio is next,” added the worker, who asked not to be identified.
It remains only to know how all this will develop as part of the acquisition of Microsoft Activision-Blizzard. The Redmond-based firm is not known for its philanthropy to the labor movement, but Vice President Lisa Tanzi has previously said the company would not interfere with the desire to unite employees.