Reno’s quality assurance staff, threatened with dismissal, have formed a new union to protect their rights.
According to the latest game news, the staff of Raven Software’s quality assurance studio, the creator and supporter of Call of Duty: Warzone, has voted to form a new union to protect their rights. This comes at a time when it was recently announced that Microsoft plans to buy Activision Blizzard for $ 68.7 billion and buy its subsidiaries, including RenoSoft.
Raven Software is based in Wisconsin, and its members, in partnership with the American Communications Industry Workers’ Union, are launching the Game Workers Alliance. These individuals, as mentioned, are 34 Raven Software’s quality assurance staff, of whom 27 have publicly voted in favor of the new union. They want Activision Blizzard to voluntarily recognize their new union. Of course, if Activision Blizzard does not respond to this request by Tuesday of this week, these people will hold a formal election by appealing to the legal and federal body of the National Labor Relations Association.
A spokesman for Activision Blizzard said the gaming company was “carefully considering” a request to form a “gaming industry workers’ union”. In addition, Activision Blizzard says it has raised the minimum wage for quality assurance staff by 41 percent, increased the number of paid leave days and completed medical coverage. They also claim that the contract type has converted 60% of contract workers to full-time.
Beka Igner“People in the gaming industry, and especially in Raven’s quality assurance department, are interested in their work and the content they produce,” said one of Ravenstore’s quality assurance testers in a message to the media about forming a new union. “We want their passion to be properly reflected in our work environment and the content we create.”
More than 60 members of Raven Software, as well as other Activision Blizzard employees in Los Angeles, have been on strike for nearly five weeks. This is because Activision Blizzard executives decided in early December (mid-December) not to extend the employment contracts of a number of Raven Software’s quality assurance staff and to terminate their cooperation with them. This decision provoked many protests in this group of 10 thousand people.
Jessica Gonzalez, A former Activision employee and co-ordinator of Group A Better ABK, called the news of the union’s formation a “significant step” towards solidarity in the gaming industry, and said Raven Software was the first “blockbuster” studio whose members had formed a distant union. They gather together. He noted that this is a very important event.
Activision Blizzard employees have been urging the CEOs of this large company to address their problems and concerns for months; Including widespread gender and racial discrimination, immoral harassment, and a generally toxic organizational culture that even led to Jen O’Neill, Former Activision Blizzard chairman to step down after three months in office. Before that but جی. Ellen Burke, The former Blizzard chairman, and several other senior executives resigned following a lawsuit filed by the state of California.
The California Department of Employment and Equitable Housing, part of the California state government, filed a lawsuit against Activision Blizzard this summer, and senior executives, including Bobby Kotik, The CEO of the company, accused that they were aware of cases of discrimination and immoral harassment in the workplace and not only did not take action to eliminate them, but also somehow covered up. The agency also says that Activision Blizzard has to provide evidence to the court that it has been tampered with or destroyed.
Disgruntled Activision Blizzard employees launched Group A Better ABK after California filed a lawsuit to pressure company executives to improve the situation. The Wall Street Journal conducted an investigation last fall that concluded that Bobby Kotik had known about discrimination and harassment for years, but had done nothing to address it. It was after the Wall Street Journal report that almost one-fifth of Activision Blizzard employees went on strike, calling for Kotik to resign.
Interestingly, Microsoft, the buyer of Activision Blizzard, has not, like many technology and gaming companies, set up unions to protect its employees’ rights. However, in 2016, Lionbridge Technologies employees pressured the company’s bosses to sign a contract with them to form a union. Some members of Microsoft are also members of trade unions in the United Kingdom and South Korea.
Phil Spencer “He personally does not have much experience with trade unions,” he recently told the Washington Post. “I’ve been at Microsoft for 33 years and I do not want to pretend that I have a lot of experience in this area (unions),” explains the Xbox CEO. But I’m saying that we’re going to look at what gives employees in this industry the power and freedom to do their best; “An industry where, as you know, creativity plays a big role, and that (employee rights) is the most important thing for us.”
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