Workers at an Activision studio vote to unionize, a first for the gaming industry.

A group of workers at a video game studio that is part of Activision Blizzard has voted to form a union, the first for a large North American video game company.

Watt, who passed 19th to 3rd, affects 28 quality-assured employees at Raven Software, Wisconsin Studios, who helped develop the popular Call of Duty game. Workers have been voting for the past few weeks and the results were counted by the National Labor Relations Board on Monday. Activision has a week to formally raise an objection if it finds a cause for complaint.

The new union, Game Workers Alliance, is the culmination of months of labor planning at Activision, which faced increasing employee pressure to improve working conditions after a lawsuit accused the company of having a sex culture in which women were regularly harassed.

The intensity of the planning, especially at Raven, increased in December, when the Quality Assurance, or QA, workers went out to protest the termination of the contracts of about a dozen workers. The Communication Workers of America, a leading tech, media and communications union, helps lead the unification effort.

“Our greatest hope is that our union acts as an inspiration for the growing movement of workers organized in video game studios to create better games and workplaces that reflect our values ​​and empower us all,” said the workers in the new union. Was. Statement

CWA Secretary-Treasurer Sarah Stephens said she was “thrilled” to welcome the new union and that “these workers will soon have a valid union contract and will raise their voices on the job.” Senator Tammy Baldwin, a Democrat from Wisconsin, too Encouraged the new union on Twitter,

Employees in the video game industry have been talking for years about poor pay, gender discrimination, and a “crunch” – a term for a tough, 12-to-14-hour shift given to workers in a hurry to meet deadlines. That shortage particularly affects QA workers, who say they are often treated as second-class workers. In recent years, employees have begun to organize. But so far, none of the North American video game developers have a large union.

The new union affects only a small group of workers – 28 QA workers at Raven Studios, where several hundred people work. Activision, which is in the process of being acquired by Microsoft for 70 billion, argued that all studio workers should be eligible to vote. That statement was rejected by the NLRB at a hearing in April.

On Monday, Activis reiterated its objection, arguing that the decision to unionize “should not be taken by 19 Raven employees.” The company would not say whether it planned to file the objection, saying only that it was “committed to doing what is best for the studio and our employees.”

The NLRB’s regional director violates federal labor laws by asking CWA not to talk to state employees about “wage or workplace status”; Maintaining an “extremely comprehensive” social media policy; And surveying personnel who were involved in “protected integrated activity.” The Labor Board said it would file a complaint against Activision if it could not resolve the case.

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