Raven Software quality assurance workers have voted in favour of a union, a historic moment for a AAA games developer.
Yesterday (May 23), the results of the union vote were tallied after workers mailed in their ballots. The final result was 19 votes in favour and three against, out of the eligible workers that could vote.
As reported by The Washington Post, the votes were counted by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) at its Milwaukee office.
If either side of the vote objects to the vote, they must file said objection by May 31. Otherwise, the vote goes into effect, with Raven Software management needing to begin bargaining with the union in good faith.
“The outcome of this election, the voice of the people coming together to vote yes for this union, is further validation that even a small group of folks in Madison Wisconsin standing together in solidarity can face up against a AAA studio giant like Activision, and come out the other side victorious,” said Becka Aigner, a Raven Software quality assurance tester who took part in the vote.
“Now that the fight for recognition is through, we can focus our efforts on negotiations. We’ll fight for respect, fight for better wages, better benefits, better work-life balance, fight for sustainability and job security, and continue to fight for our fellow workers in solidarity.”
how did activision blizzard respond?
Activision Blizzard spokeswoman Jessica Taylor said “We respect and believe in the right of all employees to decide whether or not to support or vote for a union. We believe that an important decision that will impact the entire Raven Software studio of roughly 350 people should not be made by 19 of Raven employees. We’re committed to doing what’s best for the studio and our employees.”
However, the NLRB has also accused Activision Blizzard of illegally threatening staff, as reported by Bloomberg. As well as allegedly enforcing a social media policy that conflicts with workers’ collective action rights. Activision says these allegations are false in response to these claims.
This vote is potentially a huge step for AAA game developers. Late last year, independent studio Vodeo Games unionised, the first certified video game studio union in North America. Raven Software QA workers have now followed in Vodeo Games’ footsteps, the first set of workers to do so at a major studio in North America. And it has been able to do so despite multiple attempts at union busting.
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Featured Image Credit: Raven Software