Quality Assurance workers at Activision’s Raven Software video game studio won their union election and will be represented by the Communications Workers of America. An overwhelming 86% of the votes were in support of the union. The workers, known as Game Workers Alliance (CWA), are the first group to win union representation at Activision Blizzard.
“Five months ago, we formed the Game Workers Alliance-CWA on the principles of solidarity, sustainability, transparency, equity, and diversity. Activision Blizzard worked tirelessly to undermine our efforts to establish our union, but we persevered. Now that we’ve won our election, it is our duty to protect these foundational values on which our union stands. Our biggest hope is that our union serves as inspiration for the growing movement of workers organizing at video game studios to create better games and build workplaces that reflect our values and empower all of us. We look forward to working with management to positively shape our working conditions and the future of Activision Blizzard through a strong union contract,” said members of Game Workers Alliance (CWA).
Earlier this year, Raven workers announced the formation of Game Workers Alliance (CWA), after going on strike for five weeks. The strike began December 6, when over 60 Raven Software workers walked out in protest after Activision Blizzard laid off 12 of the studio’s quality assurance testers. The Raven QA strike was the third work stoppage since Activision Blizzard was sued in late July over sexual harassment and misconduct claims.
“Raven workers should be praised for their courage and determination to win,” said Ben Parton, Head of the ICTS sector of UNI Global Union. “This historic vote will be remembered as a turning point for the video games workers in the U.S.
The Raven QA team predominantly works on the studio’s popular Call of Duty series. The workers’ organizing campaign was supported through CWA’s Campaign to Organize Digital Employees (CODE-CWA). CODE-CWA has previously helped workers form unions at other game studios, such as Vodeo Games and Paizo.
“Activision did everything it could, including breaking the law, to try to prevent the Raven QA workers from forming their union. It didn’t work, and we are thrilled to welcome them as CWA members,” said CWA Secretary-Treasurer Sara Steffens.
“Quality assurance workers at Raven Software are bringing much-needed change to Activision and to the video game industry. At this critical time for the company and its employees, these workers will soon have an enforceable union contract and a voice on the job.”