Continuing the Raven Software unionization saga, a landmark ruling has been reached. The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has permitted the voting for union to commence, with a result to be announced in May.
The Game Workers Alliance is the formal name for the union currently in the process of being formed by Raven Software employees. This is the company responsible for testing heavyweight title Call of Duty: Warzone.
The formation of the union puts strong power in the hands of the 21 Raven Software employees who are looking to unionize following a strike earlier in 2022.
GWA took to Twitter to announce the news, declaring “National Labor Relations Board rejected Raven Software management’s attempts to undermine our efforts to form a union.”
We are pleased that after reviewing the evidence, the National Labor Relations Board rejected Raven Software management’s attempts to undermine our efforts to form a union. It’s now time for Raven management to stop trying to prevent us from exercising our rights.
— Game Workers Alliance 💙#WeAreGWA (@WeAreGWA) April 23, 2022
After initially urging Activision Blizzard to recognize the union voluntarily, Raven Software went on an extensive campaign seeking to bust the union before it even came into existence.
The company took a number of employees from part to full time in early April, along with a $1.50 an hour raise, but excluded anyone seeking to engage in a collective bargaining agreement.
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With those measures all but having failed with the NLRB ruling, Activision Blizzard made this comment to The Verge: “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% of our employees.”
“We believe a direct relationship with team members is the best path to achieving individual and company goals.”
"I'm forming this union because I want Raven to continue be the best place to make a career in game dev. We want job stability and to be included in conversations that involve our department." -John, owner of Ali, Bubby, and Daisy pic.twitter.com/a1r9Nl8nUS
— Game Workers Alliance 💙#WeAreGWA (@WeAreGWA) April 14, 2022
Activision Blizzard are continue with its attempts to quell any chance of a collective employee agreement. “We are reviewing legal options regarding a potential appeal,” it concluded.
With Microsoft on the tail end of a huge purchase of Activision Blizzard, the impact of the union formation, and the vote up to May 20 has the potential for a huge shakeup in the gaming industry.