21 Raven Software QA employees will be allowed to have a union election

The employees have until May 20th to submit their ballots

21 Raven Software QA employees will be allowed to have a union election0

Twenty-one Raven Software QA employees have until May 20th to submit their ballots in a historic video game industry union vote. Today the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) decreed that voting for the union would commence and that the voting unit would be composed of those 21 employees, against Activision Blizzard’s argument that the voting unit should be opened to all Raven employees.

In a statement to The Kupon4U, Activision Blizzard spokesperson Rich George said:

This is a watershed moment for these QA employees who started the journey toward unionization back in December 2021. After a round of layoffs hit the Activision Blizzard subsidiary studio, workers staged a walkout that became a sustained strike lasting five weeks. At the end of the strike, workers formally organized the Game Workers Alliance, the first union in one of North America’s biggest game companies.

Since then, Activision Blizzard has worked to undermine these unionization efforts. Its dispersed Raven QA employees across separate teams and argued that the voting unit for the pending union election should be open to all Raven employees thereby reducing the chance for its success. It also converted over 1000 contract and temporary QA employees to full-time and gave significant raises in pay — raises that were not extended to Raven QA employees.

“We are so proud to announce that the NLRB ruled that our unit is eligible for election!” the Game Workers Alliance said in a tweet. “Thank you to everyone supporting our campaign since our initial strike up until this very moment! Time for democracy!”

Once ballots are submitted by the deadline, the NLRB will tally the votes. A supermajority of the voting unit must vote in favor of the union for it to be officially recognized and bargaining can begin.

Microsoft is set to acquire Activision Blizzard in a deal worth nearly $70 billion, though that deal isn’t expected to close until Microsoft’s 2023 fiscal year, which begins in July. Activision Blizzard will report earnings on Monday, April 25th, though it will not have a conference call or issue an earnings presentation.

Update April 22nd, 5:22PM ET: Added Game Workers Alliance tweet.

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