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Activision Executive Discourage Employees To Form a Union in a Slack message leak

Activision Blizzard


The team of 34 testers of the quality of assurance from Raven Software voted to unionize in the last month The studio’s parent company, Activision Blizzard, has taken steps to reduce support and make it more difficult for employees to join forces. Today, Activision VP of QA Chris Arends sent the clearest message yet on where the company’s management stands on unionization efforts, and (spoiler) they’re strongly against.

In an internal, closed Slack channel, which was posted on Tuesday morning Arends addressed six of his own questions regarding the union and offered answers to employees from the perspective of Activision’s viewpoint, as reported via Twitter from union leader Jessica Gonzalez. The employees were not able to respond to the tweet. Each response diminished the advantages of unionization, however, the fourth prompt provided the most direct critique of the organizational process. It is written as follows:

Did you know that the union would protect employees and provide them with job security? Our job security at ABK depends on our ability to provide amazing entertainment for our fans. The union isn’t doing anything to assist us in creating high-quality games. The bargaining process isn’t usually rapid, often limits the flexibility of our employees, and is often hostile and causes negative publicity. This can affect our ability to keep creating excellent games.

The fifth response claimed that union-driven bargaining can take too long to be effective, stating the obvious: “A unionized company cannot move quickly independently when the union doesn’t accept its position.” The final response stated that employees don’t need to support the vote of the union at any time elections are held. The post was shared on Twitter. Gonzalez said the tweet was “sad.”

It’s the latest action from Activision that is designed to slow down the growth in how to unionize at Raven. Three days after employees announced that they had collected an overwhelming majority of signatures needed to join the union in the form of the Game Workers Alliance, Raven Director Brian Raffel revealed a reorganization plan to break up Studio’s QA department, transferring employees across teams.

Communications Workers of America, who is backing GWA in its support, announced on Twitter that the move is “nothing other than a means to stop Raven QA workers who are exercising their right to organize.”

Activision has also not acknowledged voluntarily GWA which means that they’ll need to get approval from the NLRB this process could be lengthy. In addition, Activision is pushing for the vote to be inclusive of all employees of Raven instead of just QA employees, which could reduce the chance of successful outcomes.

Arends”Slack” message trying to convince workers that unions are making their lives more difficult and more sloppy — falls into the same category as Activision’s earlier strategies.

Activision Blizzard is currently under intense scrutiny from a variety of perspectives. GWA is the first union in an AAA games development company in North America, potentially setting the scene for greater collaboration across the entire industry. Additionally, Activision Blizzard is the target of a lawsuit as well as numerous investigations into allegations of gender discrimination in the workplace and sexual harassment in the studio, including incidents that are believed to have been going on for several decades.

And lastly, Microsoft is in the process of purchasing Activision Blizzard, Raven Software, and other companies in a deal that is worth $69 billion. This is the biggest acquisition in the history of video games and will mark the beginning of a period of consolidation. A day after announcements of the acquisition was announced, Activision told the SEC that there was no attempt to unionize taking place at its studios but in the weeks prior to the announcement, executives had advised Raven workers to ” consider the consequences” of signing union cards. All products suggested by Engadget are chosen by our editorial staff which is in the absence of any parent organization. Certain of our stories include affiliate hyperlinks. If you purchase something from our links might be paid an affiliate commission.



Lucia Coleman

I’m a communication enthusiast and junior editor-reporter at Research Snipers, I have completed a degree in Mass Communication but am very enthusiastic about new technology, games, and mobile devices. I have the main interest in Technology and games.