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Activision Blizzard recognizes new "Call of Duty" workers union

Activision Blizzard recognizes new "Call of Duty" workers union

reuters.com · 06/10/2022 13:34
Activision Blizzard recognizes new "Call of Duty" workers union

- Activision Blizzard Inc ATVI.O on Friday recognized the Communications Workers of America and began negotiations on behalf of a small group of quality assurance testers at the "Call of Duty" videogame maker who voted to unionize last month.

Workers across technology companies are becoming more vocal about better pay and working conditions. More than 200 workers at Google parent Alphabet Inc GOOGL.O formed a labor union for U.S. and Canadian offices last year.

"While first labor contracts can take some time to complete, we will meet CWA leaders at the bargaining table and work toward an agreement that supports the success of all our employees," Chief Executive Bobby Kotick said in a letter to all U.S. Activision employees.

Quality assurance employees at Raven Software in Middleton, Wisconsin, voted 19-3 in favor of joining the CWA, according to a tally by U.S. National Labor Relation Board (NLRB) officials. nL2N2XF21T

Wisconsin is a right-to-work state, meaning any worker can choose not to be a union member.

CWA said Activision employees' vote will not have to be re-certified if Microsoft Corp MSFT.O succeeds in acquiring the company, in a $69 billion deal announced in January. nL4N2TY36A

The videogame maker initially urged the NLRB to dismiss the petition for a union election, citing a recent reorganization, and argued that any vote on unionization should be conducted among a much larger group of employees. nL2N2WK2NX

Jennifer Hadsall, a regional NLRB director in Minneapolis, ruled that the proposed unit should stand, finding that the testers the CWA sought to represent had a "meaningfully distinct collective-bargaining interest."

The CWA has increasingly focused in recent years on organizing non-union workers in the tech and video game industries.

(Reporting by Doyinsola Oladipo; editing by Anna Driver and Richard Chang)