Ed Smith >Published Aug 4, 2022 >Diablo II: ResurrectedDiablo II: Blizzard Albany has publicly condemned Activision Blizzard's "hostility", after Call of Duty, Diablo Immortal and World of Warcraft publishers allegedly delayed recognising Blizzard’s new employee union.
Activision Blizzard was allegedly approached by QA testers from Blizzard Albany in July to recognize a new workers' union. Blizzard has also co-developed Destiny, as well as games in Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater series. Raven Software workers voted in favor of the Game Workers' Alliance. This would have represented testers at Warzone and Call of Duty. GWA was the first such union to be formed at a major North American gaming studio.
Activision Blizzard first responded to Blizzard's petition to unionize by saying that it respected the right of employees to decide whether to join a union. We believe that the best relationship is one between the company's employees and the company. The company will publicly and formally respond to the petition to NLRB (National Labour Relations Board). However, Game Workers Alliance Albany, which is the union that workers at Blizzard Albany petitioned to form, says Activision Blizzard "chooses to fight" their efforts by delaying official recognition.
"It seems that Activision Blizzard management has once more decided to take the low path by choosing to fight against us union in spite the fact that 95% have signed union representation card," said a GWA Albany twitter account. It shared the July announcement that Blizzard Albany had announced its intention to unionize. Activision, instead of following Microsoft's example and agreeing to labour neutrality agreements, has made the conscious decision to deny us basic labour rights and spend hundreds of thousands on a union-busting company. This company refuses almost every opportunity to show respect for its workers and repair its reputation.
GWA Albany's Twitter account doesn't specify which law firm it claims Activision Blizzard uses to fight its unionization efforts. However, the World of Warcraft creator retained Reed Smith LLP during the hearings with Raven Software. This is what the GWA Albany account refers directly to.
Activision was able to redeem itself after failing to recognize the will and determination of Raven Software's workers. It stated that there was cause to believe this time could have been different. "But in an unsurprising and unfortunate turn of events, company chose to delay recognition for our union in a futile attempt to disband it. If ABK leadership commits to high road labour standards, we are willing to continue to work with management. If Activision persists in its hostility, however, we will be more than willing to move forward and get the formal legal recognition that our union deserves."
PCGamesN reached out to Activision Blizzard in order to get their comment. We will continue updating this story with any additional information. Activision Blizzard's comprehensive lawsuit guide covers a variety of lawsuits against the publisher regarding its treatment of workers.
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