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Activision to recognize and begin negotiations with Raven Software's labor union

This is in relation to the quality assurance employees at the studio which voted to go union.

Activision Blizzard has announced it will start negotiations with the Communications Workers of America (CWA) union on behalf of Raven Software quality assurance staffers.

In a letter sent to employees today, company CEO Bobby Kotick said Activision Blizzard plans to "engage in good faith negotiations" with the CWA to enter a collective bargaining agreement.

Kotick notes that while first labor contracts can take some time to complete, both sides will come to the bargaining table and work toward an agreement that "supports the success of all employees." Kotick feels that doing so will further strengthen Activision's "commitment to creating the industry’s best, most welcoming and inclusive workplace."

"We begin this process after major investments in our QA team members over the past couple of years, including significantly increasing starting pay for QA specialists and converting over 1,100 U.S.-based temporary and contingent QA workers to full-time positions," he wrote.

"This conversion is providing access to comprehensive company benefits for QA employees and their eligible dependents. In addition, we have expanded access to performance bonuses for QA employees and learning and development opportunities. We also have integrated QA more seamlessly into the game development process, increasing collaboration that results in better products for our players and more opportunities for our teams."

Raven QA workers won recognition for their union, Game Workers Alliance (GWA), on May 23, with an 86% majority vote. Raven is the first group to win union representation at Activision Blizzard.

Earlier this year, Raven workers announced the formation of GWA after going on strike for five weeks. The strike began December 6, when over 60 Raven Software workers walked out in protest after 12 of the studio’s QA testers were laid off.

The strike was the third work stoppage since Activision Blizzard was sued in late July 2021 over sexual harassment and misconduct claims.

Predominantly providing work on the studio’s Call of Duty series, Ravens's GWA was supported through CWA’s Campaign to Organize Digital Employees.

Microsoft previously said that once it acquires Activision Blizzard for $68.7 billion, it will honor any agreement should Activision Blizzard recognize a union.

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