Multiple Raven Software quality assurance (QA) staff have spoken out about the studio’s upcoming union election ahead of the May 23 ballot count.
The upcoming union election follows news last month that the National Labour Relations Board (NLRB) had confirmed that Raven Software staff were eligible for an election, after the staff had been on strike and formed the Game Workers Alliance (GWA) due to treatment from Activision Blizzard.
Over the last five months, around 30 QA staff at Raven Software have been attempting to form a union and improve working conditions, with one anonymous staff member telling The Washington Post yesterday (May 9): “Finally being able to vote yes made all of the hard work we’ve put in over these past five months worth it.”
“The fact that Activision tried so hard to stop our union every step of the way makes it clear that a union is necessary at this company,” they added.
Current Raven Software employees also said that management is scrambling to send messages and hold meetings about the election, with higher-ups reasserting the notion at an April 26 town hall meeting that unionisation could make game development harder.
Some staff told The Washington Post that management’s union-busting was ineffective, as they still voted yes on its formation.
“While we respect the NLRB process, we are disappointed that a decision that could significantly impact the future of our entire studio will be made by fewer than 10 percent of our employees,” wrote an Activision Blizzard spokesperson. “We believe a direct relationship with team members is the best path to achieving individual and company goals.”
Last week it was revealed that New York City was now suing Activision Blizzard and asking to see its files, saying that the Microsoft merger “seriously undervalues” Activision Blizzard, and allows CEO Bobby Kotick to “escape liability and accountability entirely.”
In other news, a Nintendo Indie World stream is airing for 20 minutes tomorrow.