A new report states that Activision Blizzard is set to make 1100 game testers full-time employees, but this does not include unionising Raven Software workers.
Yesterday (April 7), a report from Bloomberg announced that Activision Blizzard would convert roughly 1100 US-based temporary or contract quality assurance workers to full-time. The minimum salary for these workers will be boosted to $20 an hour, and will also be eligible for full company benefits.
This follows years of criticism of the publisher relying too heavily on part-time workers and subpar working conditions. However, while this is great news for those who are being taken on full time, Activision Blizzard will not be offering the same hand to unionising Raven Software workers.
According to an Activision Blizzard spokesperson that spoke with Bloomberg, this is because of “legal obligations under the National Labor Relations Act.” However, the spokesperson noted that “whether Raven worker choose to unionise has nothing to do with the salary increases elsewhere for Activision’s QA workers.“
Raven Software began the process of unionising earlier this year, but is yet to be recognised. This is due to at least a dozen QA contractors being laid off last December, despite some moving for the role.
Secretary-treasurer of the Communications Workers of America Sara Steffens, who is representing Raven in its union push, said that exclusion of Raven workers is “especially galling.” Especially because these workers have been “at the forefront of this effort.” Steffens made a point that Activision Blizzard is trying to “divide workers and undermine their effort to form a union.” Tactics like these are usually to dissuade workers from union efforts, as it pits large amounts of staff against smaller groups.
Despite this move from Activision Blizzard, hopefully Raven Software will be able to continue its organising work.
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Featured Image Credit: Activision Blizzard