Since starting a strike at the end of last year, a group of employees at Activision Blizzard have formed a union.
Composed of Raven Software quality assurance (QA) staff who staged a walkout in December of last year after more than a third of the QA team were laid off, the Game Workers Alliance (GWA) is a new union that has been launched with the help of the ABK Workers Alliance, which helped organise the ongoing strike and set up a GoFundMe for the staff.
The Game Workers Alliance has been formed in conjunction with the Communications Workers of America, which organises unions in industries from communications to technology. The GWA is requesting formal recognition from Activision Blizzard, for which a spokesperson told Bloomberg:
“While we believe that a direct relationship between the company and its team members delivers the strongest workforce opportunities, we deeply respect the rights of all employees under the law to make their own decisions about whether or not to join a union.”
A mission statement on the GWA website adds that the union focuses “on improving the conditions of workers in the video game industry by making it a more sustainable, equitable place where transparency is paramount. Additionally, we advocate for our disenfranchised and minority workers by creating a diverse space to let their voices be heard in solidarity.”
Earlier in the week, an Activision Blizzard filing with the SEC (per GamesIndustry.biz) said that the company was unaware of any labour or legal proceedings, despite the multiple lawsuits and the walkout entering its sixth week. This follows significant news that Microsoft plans to acquire Activision Blizzard for around £50billion.
A list of the GWA’s principles can be found in this Twitter thread from earlier today.