Employees of a team at the American video game publisher Activision Blizzard, which distributes flagship titles Call of Duty and World of Warcraft, voted overwhelmingly in favor of the creation of a union, a first in the industry. ‘business. Of 28 eligible voters, 19 voted in favor and 3 against, detailed the U.S. National Labor Relation Board, the agency in charge of organizing the ballot, following a count of postal votes, Monday, May 23.
This small team specializing in quality assurance at Raven Software, an Activision subsidiary, will be represented by the Communications Workers of America union. A few employees began to mobilize at the end of 2021, engaging in a five-week strike after the dismissal of twelve employees.
It was then the third work stoppage decided by the employees since the appearance, in July 2021, of a series of accusations of discrimination and harassment against management, recalls the union in a press release. The employees officially banded together earlier this year as the Game Workers Alliance (CWA).
A vote recognized but nuanced by Activision
“Our greatest hope is that our union will inspire the growing movement of workers who are organizing in video game studios to create better games and build workplaces that reflect our values and empower us” , underlined the organization after its victory.
In the video game sector, CWA has also helped create unions at Vodeo Games and Paizo studios. Activision, in the process of being acquired by Microsoft, has recognized the result of the vote according to Agence France-Presse. However, adds the company, “we believe that an important decision, which affects all 350 employees of the Raven Software studio, should not be made by 19 Raven employees”.
Several large multinationals, including Starbucks, Apple and Amazon, are currently facing a unionization campaign in the United States.