CWA union backs Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard

"On the basis of CWA's agreement with Microsoft, workers can now be assured that this transaction will not undermine [collective bargaining or unionising]"

Communications and media union Communications Workers Of America (CWA) has offered support for Microsoft‘s acquisition of Activision Blizzard, claiming Microsoft’s recent commitments will give employees at the company “a seat at the table”.

Yesterday (June 30), the CWA sent a letter to the FTC stating that it supports the acquisition “because Microsoft has entered an agreement with CWA to ensure the workers of Activision Blizzard have a clear path to collective bargaining”.

“On the basis of CWA’s agreement with Microsoft, workers can now be assured that this transaction will not undermine [collective bargaining or unionising] or the broader antitrust laws pertaining to labour markets,” reads the letter.

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The agreement in question was announced earlier in the month, and guarantees that Microsoft will remain neutral in regards to employees’ unionisation interest at Activision Blizzard. The “binding commitment” also ensures that workers can discuss unions in the workplace, share information, and vote on unionisation privately.

Activision
Activision office. Credit: Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images.

At the time, CWA president Christopher Shelton shared that “Microsoft’s binding commitments will give employees a seat at the table and ensure that the acquisition of Activision Blizzard benefits the company’s workers and the broader video game labour market,” a statement that Shelton repeated in CWA’s letter to FTC.

Internally, Activision Blizzard management has allegedly worked to oppose unionisation efforts within the company. One company executive told employees to consider the “consequences” of unionising, while another said that a union “doesn’t do anything to help us produce world-class games“.

In January, Activision Blizzard also chose not to recognise a union formed by Raven Software staff, which later proved fruitless as the studio won its right to unionise in May.

In other gaming news, guides site Maxroll has announced that it will stop covering Diablo Immortal due to Blizzard’s “predatory” monetisation approach, joining a slew of content creators who have already quit for the same reason.

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