Raven Software QA successfully establishes the Game Workers Alliance, the first workers' union under video game company Activision Blizzard.
In a historic first, a video game workers' union has finally formed under a big video game developer and publishing company the size of Activision Blizzard. Raven Software, the Activision subsidiary most responsible for quality assurance of the highly-popular Call of Duty: Warzone, started its battle for unionization earlier in January after a weeklong strike. The strike was in response to Activision Blizzard's reorganization of QA workers, which moved some testers into “embedded” positions within other departments, which Raven Software saw as a threat to their ability to unionize.
Outside of Raven Software, Activision Blizzard announced an increase in pay for QA employees as they get converted to full-time positions, along with employee benefits and bonuses given to full-time employees. Raven Software alleges that these benefits have not been extended to their own QA employees, which Activision Blizzard claims were because of “legal obligations under the National Labor Relations Act.”
The National Labor Relations Board then voted in favor of Raven Software, allowing for a vote to happen, where 30 Raven Software workers participated. The vote resulted in a 19-3 vote between yes and nos, which then means the group, which is called Game Workers Alliance, is now a union supported by the NLRB. The Game Workers Alliance will now move into contract negotiations with Activision Blizzard supported by the Communications Workers of America's Campaign to Organize Digital Employees, or CODE-CWA.
Prior to this, union efforts were also successful in establishing Vodeo Workers United, the first North American video game studio union, which also partnered with the CODE-CWA. Following Game Workers Alliance's success, Keywords Studios QA (formerly a support QA studio for BioWare) is also trying to unionize.