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Activision Blizzard Employees Are Forming A First Of Its Kind Workers Union

Activision Blizzard Employees Are Forming A First Of Its Kind Workers Union

The union currently only represents a small amount of Activision Blizzard employees, but marks a milestone in the industry.

Activision and its various subsidiaries haven’t been getting the best press as of late when it comes to their working conditions. In July last year, the first of many lawsuits were filed against them, and over time the company was exposed for cases of sexual harassment, misogyny, “frat boy culture”, and unfair labour practices. 

Now, employees at Activision-owned studio Raven Software, the team behind the Call of Duty series (as of 2016, anyway), have announced that they have formed a union, something which comes as a huge milestone within the games industry. As reported by The Guardian, several dozen employees have voted in favour of the union, just days after the announcement that Microsoft is set to acquire Activision. 

While you're here, be sure to check out some COD: Warzone wins and fails below.

Named the Game Workers Alliance Union, it would be the second video game union to exist in the United States, and the first of its kind at a publicly traded video game publisher. It’s set to be a part of the Communication Workers of America, the largest media labour union in the US. 

Raven Software also staged a mass walkout in December last year in response to unfair treatment of members of its quality assurance team. According to The Washington Post, over a third of the QA team, who had previously been promised a pay rise, were fired, despite being told that they’d done nothing wrong. 

In a statement published this week, the head of Blizzard Entertainment, Mike Ybarra, laid out action plans which are currently underway to improve working conditions for employees, including the hiring of a new HR leader, and the introduction of a diversity, equity and inclusion leader. 

“2021 was challenging for all of us. As individuals, we care about treating everyone around us with respect and dignity,” he said. “As professionals, we care deeply about our crafts, and we want to work in the most supportive and safe environment possible. Our top priority - now and into the future - is the work we are doing to rebuild your trust in Blizzard.”

Although Raven Software’s union will only represent a small amount of the Activision Blizzard’s almost 10,000 employees, it’s still a great step forward that will hopefully help tackle issues that continue to plague the games industry. 

Featured Image Credit: Activision

Topics: Activision, Activision Blizzard