Unionisers at Activision Blizzard excluded from company’s QA wage increase

The Game Workers Alliance says it's a "disingenuous announcement" that punishes unionisers "for choosing to stand shoulder to shoulder with our fellow workers"

Activision Blizzard has made nearly 1,100 quality assurance (QA) testers full-time employees and raised their hourly wages, however QA testers at Raven Software – who are currently working to form a union within the company – have not been included.

Yesterday (April 7), Activision Blizzard announced that around 1,100 QA testers would be brought on as full-time employees, a move that would raise their minimum salary to £15.32 ($20) an hour and grant them access to company benefits.

However, as reported by Bloomberg, this shift has deliberately not included QA employees at Raven Software due to the team’s ongoing efforts to unionise within Activision Blizzard.

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An Activision spokesperson has claimed that workers at Raven Software have not been included in the upgrade “due to legal obligations under the National Labor Relations Act,” a law which prevents companies from giving benefits to workers during union organization campaigns.

Raven Software’s unionisation efforts are being represented by the Communications Workers of America (CWA), which has commented on Activision’s latest move.

Activision Blizzard Orc Statue
Credit: Activision Blizzard

Sara Steffens, secretary-treasurer of the CWA, has accused Activision of trying to “divide workers and undermine their effort to form a union,” and says that excluding Raven Software is “especially galling” due to employees there being “at the forefront of this effort” to secure better wages and treatment at the company.

Steffens added that Activision’s “disingenuous announcement is further evidence of the need for workers to have a protected voice on the job.”

The Game Workers Alliance has said that the exclusion of Raven Software is “unsurprising, but nevertheless disappointing.”

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“The company’s assertion that the NLRA prevents Activision from including Raven QA workers is simply a ploy to punish us for choosing to stand shoulder to shoulder with our fellow workers,” added the union.

In other gaming news, Ubisoft has shared that it still plans to bring NFTs to more games, despite significant backlash over the company’s last attempt.

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