Activision Blizzard To Begin Negotiations With Unionized Employees

Kristin Snyder

Kristin Snyder is an editorial intern for dot.la. 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
Image courtesy of Shutterstock

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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Regard Raises $15M for AI-Powered Software That Help Doctors Diagnose Patients

Decerry Donato

Decerry Donato is dot.LA's Editorial Fellow. Prior to that, she was an editorial intern at the company. Decerry received her bachelor's degree in literary journalism from the University of California, Irvine. She continues to write stories to inform the community about issues or events that take place in the L.A. area. On the weekends, she can be found hiking in the Angeles National forest or sifting through racks at your local thrift store.

Regard Raises $15M for AI-Powered Software That Help Doctors Diagnose Patients
Courtesy of Regard

Culver City-based health care startup Regard, which uses AI-driven software to help physicians accurately diagnose patients, has raised $15.3 million in Series A funding.

Pasadena-based Calibrate Ventures and Colorado-based Foundry Group led the investment in Regard, formerly known as HealthTensor. Other investors that participated in the round include TenOneTen Ventures, Susa Ventures, Brook Byers of Byers Capital and Dropbox CEO Drew Houston. The new funding will be used to grow Regard’s team and customer base, the company said in a press release.

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This Week in 'Raises': Regard Secures $15M, MaC Venture Capital Raises $203M for Second Fund

Decerry Donato

Decerry Donato is dot.LA's Editorial Fellow. Prior to that, she was an editorial intern at the company. Decerry received her bachelor's degree in literary journalism from the University of California, Irvine. She continues to write stories to inform the community about issues or events that take place in the L.A. area. On the weekends, she can be found hiking in the Angeles National forest or sifting through racks at your local thrift store.

This Week in 'Raises': Regard Secures $15M, MaC Venture Capital Raises $203M for Second Fund
Image by Joshua Letona

This week in “Raises”: A local healthcare startup secured funding to help grow the team and deploy its software to more physicians and hospitals, while Black-led, seed-stage venture capital firm surpassed its goal for its second fund.

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How Braid Theory Plans to Build the Blue Economy from the Port of LA

Keerthi Vedantam

Keerthi Vedantam is a bioscience reporter at dot.LA. She cut her teeth covering everything from cloud computing to 5G in San Francisco and Seattle. Before she covered tech, Keerthi reported on tribal lands and congressional policy in Washington, D.C. Connect with her on Twitter, Clubhouse (@keerthivedantam) or Signal at 408-470-0776.

How Braid Theory Plans to Build the Blue Economy from the Port of LA
Photo courtesy of the Port of Los Angeles.

San Pedro-based Braid Theory is one of the growing number of accelerators in the country looking to grow the so-called blue economy, which spans a range of ocean-related industries and is estimated at $2.5 trillion a year.

The accelerator is accepting online applications until July 18, with its second-ever program kicking off in August.

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