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Raven Software program QA workers unionize, name on Activision Blizzard for recognition

Sport builders inside Raven Software program’s high quality assurance groups are forming a union with the help of media union Communication Employees of America, making themselves generally known as Sport Employees United.

The 34-member group makes up one of many first sport improvement unions in North America, and the hassle marks the primary occasion of employee group inside a significant firm like Raven mother or father firm Activision Blizzard.

GWU is asking each Raven Software program and Activision Blizzard management to voluntarily acknowledge the union and assist foster a wholesome office constructed round ideas of sustainability, transparency, and fairness.

“High quality Assurance is at present an undervalued self-discipline within the video games and software program industries,” the group defined in a Twitter thread. “We attempt to foster work environments the place High quality Assurance Testers are revered and compensated for our important function within the improvement course of.”

Unionization and wider discussions about employee rights have turn into an more and more necessary dialog within the sport business over the previous a number of years, although the difficulty is not with out debate amongst sport builders. The lately printed 2022 State of the Sport Trade report from Sport Developer sibling group GDC confirmed that 55 p.c of surveyed sport builders have been in favor of business employee unionization, up from 47 p.c in 2019.

In keeping with The Washington Publish, latest layoffs at Raven Software program,
mixed with extreme additional time, low pay, and Activision Blizzard’s
troubling firm tradition, prompted builders inside the QA division
to discover unionization.

Ought to management at Raven and Activision Blizzard decline to acknowledge the union by January 25, The Publish experiences that these concerned in its formation will search union election by way of the Nationwide Labor Relations Board as a “supermajority” of 78 p.c of eligible staff assist the union effort.

These strikes towards group additionally come solely days after Microsoft introduced plans to accumulate Raven mother or father firm Activision Blizzard in a $68.7 billion deal.

Replace: An Activision Blizzard spokesperson has supplied a press release saying it’s “rigorously reviewing” the union’s voluntary recognition request.

“Activision Blizzard is rigorously reviewing the request for voluntary recognition from the CWA, which seeks to prepare round three dozen of the corporate’s practically 10,000 staff,” the assertion reads. “Whereas we imagine {that a} direct relationship between the corporate and its group members delivers the strongest workforce alternatives, we deeply respect the rights of all staff underneath the legislation to make their very own choices about whether or not or to not be a part of a union.”

“Throughout Activision Blizzard, we stay centered on listening intently to our staff and offering the improved pay, advantages {and professional} alternatives wanted to draw and retain the world’s greatest expertise. Over the previous couple of years, this has included elevating minimal compensation for Raven QA staff by 41%, extending paid break day, increasing entry to medical advantages for workers and important others, and transitioning greater than 60% of momentary Raven QA workers into full-time staff.”

It is value evaluating Activision Blizzard’s assertion to how Raven Software program staff described the remedy of QA staff on the firm when Activision Blizzard first made its plans to put off staff. 

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