In a virtual hearing with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), Activision Blizzard has argued that while developers working on Diablo 4 should be able to vote on an upcoming unionisation vote at Albany, other developers for World Of Warcraft and Overwatch should not.
In the NLRB hearing, Activision Blizzard’s lawyers argued that the current vote for unionisation at Albany should be expanded to include employees currently working on Diablo games at the Albany office, rather than just the 20-person quality assurance (QA) team that is currently voting.
However, the lawyers claimed that anyone at the studio working on Overwatch or World Of Warcraft should not be eligible to vote on the unionisation.
While labour lawyers have accused the company of trying to dilute the QA team’s voting power, Activision has not specified why developers not working on Diablo shouldn’t be included in the vote.
Speaking to Washington Post, an Activision Blizzard spokesperson said that “some employees working at Albany are not included in our proposal, as they either work on non-Diablo projects or are ineligible (for example, they might manage people),” but did not explain why developers for “non-Diablo projects” shouldn’t be included in the vote.
This is the second time in several months that Activision Blizzard has contested a unionisation vote. Back in May, QA workers at Raven Software successfully voted to unionise, despite Activision Blizzard choosing not to recognise the union when it was first formed.
Earlier in the month, former Activision Blizzard employee Jessica Gonzalez told NME that unionisation efforts at the company have “had a huge positive impact on the industry.”