If Activision Blizzard recognizes a union, Microsoft ‘won’t get in the way’

In January, Raven Software’s QA employees formed the first union in the video game industry at a major North American studio. The Game Workers Alliance was created after a labor rights strike that began in December, and a large majority of employees voted in favor. This means it can be formalized through the US National Labor Relations Board, whether or not it receives management recognition, but the union has requested official voluntary recognition anyway. Activision Blizzard chose not to give.

The union was formed the same month Microsoft announced it was acquiring Activision Blizzard for $69 billion. While the Washington Post reports, this week, 15 Raven employees signed a letter asking Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella to give Activision Blizzard a little nudge in the right direction.

The letter also accuses Activision Blizzard law firm Reed Smith anti-union material on your website. “I hope you will agree that this demeaning and insulting approach to employees seeking to improve their workplace should not be tolerated,” the letter reads.

Microsoft corporate vice president and general counsel Lisa Tanzi gave a statement to the Washington Post in response, saying the company “won’t get in the way” if Activision Blizzard’s management recognizes a union. “Microsoft respects the right of Activision Blizzard employees to choose whether to be represented by a labor organization, and we will honor those decisions,” said Tanzi.

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