The National Labour Relations Board (NLRB) has ruled that Raven Software quality assurance (QA) staff at Activision Blizzard are eligible for a union election.
As reported by The Washington Post, a decision on Friday (April 22) from the NLRB means the Game Workers Alliance (GWA) union can now vote on its formation.
This follows Activision Blizzard’s decision to not recognise the union. Microsoft – who recently acquired Activision Blizzard – has also said it will honour the outcome, meaning it shouldn’t stand in the way of the GWA when the acquisition goes through next year.
We are so proud to announce that the NLRB ruled that our unit is eligible for election! Thank you to everyone supporting our campaign since our initial strike up until this very moment! Time for democracy!💙 #WeAreRaven #WeAreGWA
— Game Workers Alliance 💙#WeAreGWA (@WeAreGWA) April 22, 2022
On April 29 the NLRB will send out ballots to all eligible employees at Raven Software, which includes both full and part-time QA staff. Employees have until May 20 to send their votes, with a video conference taking place on May 23 for the ballot count.
Activision Blizzard told The Washington Post that it is “disappointed” in the decision and will attempt an appeal, while Raven Software studio head Brian Raffel says the company will host a town hall meeting next week to discuss the “next steps”.
In a statement posted on Twitter, the GWA said: “We are pleased that after reviewing the evidence, the National Labour Relations Board rejected Raven Software management’s attempts to undermine our efforts to form a union. It’s now time for Raven management to stop trying to prevent us from exercising our rights.”
“We are looking forward to voting for – and winning – our union,” the group added.
The GWA formed in January of this year, when more than a third of the Raven QA team being laid off. The GWA union works in conjunction with the Communications Workers of America (CWA), which organises unions in industries from communications to technology.
In other news, contract employees at Nintendo of America have spoken out against the low pay and demeaning treatment of part-time staff.