Bethesda QA staff launch their own union, ZeniMax Workers United

"We are empowered to advocate for ourselves and build a future where we can thrive alongside the company"

Quality assurance (QA) staff at Bethesda Softworks parent company ZeniMax Media have become the first workers at Microsoft to launch a union: the ZeniMax Workers United – CWA.

Beginning a thread of tweets yesterday (December 5), the ZeniMax Workers United wrote: “Today we, a majority of QA workers at ZeniMax, are proud to announce the launch of our union with @CWAunion.

“We are the first group of workers at Microsoft to formally unionize. We are empowered to advocate for ourselves & build a future where we can thrive alongside the company.


“We are empowered to advocate for ourselves & build a future where we can thrive alongside the company.”

The statement continued: “QA workers at ZeniMax are extremely passionate about our work and the games we make. Having a seat at the table will ensure we receive fair compensation for the work that we do.

“A union on the job will protect us and make sure our passion isn’t taken for granted.”

The union went on to outline four major points that it hopes to secure for its members:

  • Fair treatment for all individuals + wages commensurate with the value we provide
  • Opportunities for advancement within the company
  • Accountability + transparency
  • A voice in decision making around scheduling, workload + more

“We know we have a unique opportunity to be trailblazers for a new era of the game industry and we don’t take this lightly,” the message went on. “Our union will be a place where ALL workers can collectively participate in decision making and push for changes that reflect the wants & needs of workers.”


The union added that Microsoft has so far “remained committed to staying neutral throughout this process”.

“As we vote over the next 4 weeks in our democratic election, we hope that you will support our journey towards building lasting positive change for workers, gamers & the industry as a whole,” the final tweet read.

A recent New York Times article claims that ZeniMax employees have praised Microsoft for following through on its “binding commitment” to remain neutral when Activision Blizzard employees express interest in joining a union.

In January, Microsoft acquired Activision Blizzard in a deal that was estimated to cost approximately £50billion ($68billion USD).

However, the move has faced ongoing criticism from numerous regulatory bodies. Last month, it was reported that The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) was “likely to file an antitrust lawsuit” to block the deal.

Recently Activision’s chief commercial officer said that Microsoft’s proposed takeover would only “benefit” gamers as well as the US gaming industry.

Per PC Gamer, there is still further work to be done before the ZeniMax QA union is finalised. It’s said that the union’s election process will continue “over the next four weeks”.

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