A group of Activision Blizzard employees voted to form the company’s first union.

A group of quality assurance staff at Raven Software, a game studio owned by Activision Blizzard (ATVI) Works on the company’s popular “Call of Duty” game series vote on monday To form a union, they call it the Game Workers Alliance. The union will represent 28 workers, of whom 19 voted in favor of forming a union.

“It’s our best bet that our unions inspire the growing movement of workers organizing in video game studios to create a better game, a workplace that reflects our values ​​and empowers us all,” the alliance members said in a statement. great hope,” he said. CWA. “We look forward to working with management to positively shape our working conditions and the future of Activision Blizzard through a strong union contract,” they added.

Microsoft makes a big bet that it can fix Activision Blizzard's problematic culture.
The unionization vote follows recent tensions between Raven and Activision Blizzard over layoffs. In December, after Activision Blizzard laid off 12 quality assurance testers from its division, Raven’s dozens of software workers effectively resigned. After that, some workers went on strike. calling Reinstatement of dismissed workers and the company hiring long-term contractors as full-time employees.

“We respect and believe in the right of every employee to decide whether to support or not vote for a union,” an Activision Blizzard spokesperson told CNN Business when asked about the union vote. “I don’t think important decisions that will affect the entire Raven Software studio of about 350 people shouldn’t be made by 19 Raven employees.”

The union represents the latest effort by Activision Blizzard workers to agitate for an improved workplace environment. In July, the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing filed a lawsuit against Activision Blizzard, alleging a ‘pratt boy’ work culture in which multiple female employees were subjected to gender discrimination, harassment and unequal pay. (At the time, the company criticized the lawsuit as ‘inaccurate’ and ‘distorted’, referring to past misconduct in an interview with CNN.)
The lawsuit sparked a period of chaos at the company, including employee strikes, management confusion and pressure from the CEO to resign.
earlier this year, Microsoft (MSFT) It has reached an agreement to acquire Activision Blizzard for nearly $70 billion, making it one of the largest technology acquisitions in recent years. Microsoft had its own problems with its workplace culture in the 2000s, including allegations of inappropriate workplace behavior by founder and former CEO Bill Gates. (CNN has not independently verified all claims.)

— CNN Business’ Sara Ashley O’Brien contributed to this report.


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