Microsoft has stated it “will not stand in the way” of a potential Activision Blizzard union were any to be recognized.
As reported by The Washington Post, Microsoft’s corporate vice president and general counsel Lisa Tanzi shared the company’s stance on these unions that could potentially happen before the Xbox-Activision Blizzard deal goes through in 2023.
“Microsoft respects Activision Blizzard employees’ right to choose whether to be represented by a labor organization and we will honor those decisions,” Tanzi said.
The Entire Raven Software QA Unionization Timeline: The Story So Far
This comment follows fifteen workers at Raven Software signing a letter to Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella that asks him to encourage Activision Blizzard to voluntarily recognize the Game Workers Alliance union. Microsoft vice chair and president Brad Smith was also addressed in the letter.
Furthermore, the letter denounces Reed Smith, a law firm retained by Activision Blizzard, for its part in publishing anti-union material on its website, including a PowerPoint presentation that features a slide titled “Types of Employees Unions Exploit.”
“I hope that you will agree that this demeaning and insulting approach to employees who are seeking to improve their workplace should not be tolerated,” reads the letter.
“The content of this presentation was created for a workshop in 2013 by lawyers who no longer work at the firm,” said Phill McGowan, director of corporate communications at Reed Smith. “It does not reflect the way our firm thinks about the rights of employees and employers. These slides have no bearing on the pending CWA representation petition, and were not prepared or used by the lawyers representing Activision Blizzard.”
Following Activision Blizzard laying off “at least a dozen” quality assurance contractors from Call of Duty studio Raven Software in December 2021, steps were taken by Raven QA employees and more to create Activision Blizzard’s first union.
Activision Blizzard Lawsuit Timeline: The Story So Far
Activision Blizzard has yet to voluntarily recognize Game Workers Alliance and no agreement was made between the two parties by the deadline set by the organizing workers.
This is but another chapter in the fallout from Activision Blizzard being sued by California over allegations of “frat boy culture” and sexual harassment.