The Activision Blizzard QA team in Albany have revealed they will be forming a new union within the company to ‘foster work environments” that respect and value their role as QA testers.
In a series of tweets published on July 19, the QA testers of Activision Blizzard Albany announced the formation of their own union.
Workplace harassment and sexual misconduct have been a pressing issue within the whole of Activision Blizzard. Multiple walk-out protests have taken place as a way to try and speak out against the unsafe and unsupported nature of the workplace.
QA testers company-wide have also spoken out about their working conditions as contractors, forcing the company to change their policies.
This particular union addresses those issues but also centers on the way QA testers in particular are an “undervalued discipline in games and software industries.”
QA testers play a pivotal role in the development of a video game. They are in charge of testing out gameplay throughout the creation of a game to ensure that technically, things are holding up. This can include writing up detailed reports on bug and glitch issues as well as any major crashing that is occurring.
The QA Blizzard Albany team then went on to say that they are “committed to fostering an open, diverse and equitable workplace.” The aim of this union, as revealed by the employees, is to fight for pay transparency, improved benefits, measures to reduce workplace harassment, and better work-life balance by cutting mandatory “crunch”.
An improvement in healthcare support is something that all workers of Activision Blizzard are fighting for at the moment, in large part due to the company’s lack of support following the recent overturning of Roe vs Wade.
As part of their union, these employees have partnered with the organization Communications Workers of America. Communications Workers of America are a company that works specifically with American-based workplaces to help form and develop a union that protects their rights.
They are one of the biggest worker’s unions in the country and work with a variety of industries. These include news media, broadcast and cable television, as well as the tech and manufacturing fields.
On their website, they state “every employer, from the smallest company to the largest corporation, and state, local, and county government, should treat us with dignity and respect, providing good pay, benefits, and working conditions.”
At the end of their announcement, the QA Blizzard Albany team expressed that this unionization allows them to “finally have a seat at the table for negotiating our futures.”
They then called on Activision Blizzard to “voluntarily recognize” the new union and to further respect their “right to organize without retaliation or interference.”
This news comes following recent updates about the looming acquisition of Activision Blizzard by Microsoft.