Activision Blizzard To Begin Negotiations With Unionized Employees

Kristin Snyder

Kristin Snyder is dot.LA's 2022/23 Editorial Fellow. She previously interned with Tiger Oak Media and led the arts section for UCLA's Daily Bruin.

Activision Blizzard To Begin Negotiations With Unionized Employees
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Activision Blizzard will begin labor negotiations with recently unionized workers at its Raven Software subsidiary, the Santa Monica-based video game publisher said today.

Activision CEO Bobby Kotick sent a letter to employees Friday morning stating that the company will “engage in good faith negotiations to enter into a collective bargaining agreement” with the Communications Workers of America, the labor union representing the 27 organized quality assurance testers at Wisconsin-based Raven Software.


“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,” Kotick wrote in the letter.

The CEO noted that Activision has recently taken measures to increase pay for quality assurance testers and turned temporary jobs into full-time positions—though the unionized Raven Software, all of whom are full-time employees, were notably excluded from pay raises earlier this year. ABetterABK, an Activision workers’ group that has mobilized the company’s Los Angeles-area employees, tweeted Friday that those measures “were done as concessions from mounting employee pressure to try to stop unionization from occurring.”

After forming in January, Raven Software’s Game Workers Alliance union was officially certified in a vote last month—solidifying the first labor union at a major video game publisher in the U.S. and legally obligating Activision to negotiate with the union on a collective bargaining agreement.

The vote came after Activision refused to voluntarily recognize the union despite Microsoft—which is in the midst of acquiring Activision for around $69 billion—stating that it “will not stand in the way” of unionization efforts. Microsoft president Brad Smith expanded on those views in a blog post earlier this month, laying out “a new set of principles” around how it would engage with organized workers.

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