The Quality Assurance team at Raven Software just took a big step in their fight for a better Activision. Last month, several dozen Activision workers staged a walkout to protest planned layoffs of Raven Software QA workers. Their only demand was full-time employment for the full team, including those scheduled for layoffs, but Activision wouldn’t budge. As a result, a strike fund was set up, and the workers began passing out union authorization cards. Today, they officially announced that a union has been formed.
Raven Software QA team forms a union
With a 78% supermajority in support, the Raven Software QA team has formed a union, which they are asking Activision Blizzard to recognize. Becka Aigner, one of the QA testers who helped form the union, issued the following statement:
Today, I am proud to join with a supermajority of my fellow workers to build our union, Game Workers Alliance (CWA). In the video game industry, specifically Raven QA, people are passionate about their jobs and the content they are creating. We want to make sure that the passion from these workers is accurately reflected in our workplace and the content we make. Our union is how our collective voices can be heard by leadership.
The Raven Software QA team formed their union with the help of the Communication Workers of America, and it is officially called Game Workers Alliance. CWA Secretary-Treasurer Sara Steffens issued a call for Activision Blizzard to recognize the group and enter into a collecting bargaining agreement.
We ask that Activision Blizzard management respect Raven QA workers by voluntarily recognizing CWA’s representation without hesitation. A collective bargaining agreement will give Raven QA employees a voice at work, improving the games they produce and making the company stronger. Voluntary recognition is the rational way forward.
Activision Blizzard has not yet commented on the formation of the Game Workers Alliance. Although the Raven Software QA team is the only group to unionize, there are many others at the company who have protested management’s history of sexual harassment and discrimination. Thus far, Activision has seemed content to keep CEO Bobby Kotick in charge, though that may change in the near future. As Microsoft completes the process of acquiring the publisher, there will likely be changes. Hopefully, for the better.