Employee-led organizing efforts at Activision-Blizzard get Microsoft endorsement

Even after offering $95 a share to try to appease Activision Blizzard shareholders for a corporate buyout, Microsoft is trying to do the same for workers there by offering support for a union-led organizing effort. the employees. While the company may not be ready to create posters or condone walkouts, Microsoft issued the following statement to Axios regarding organizing efforts at one of Activision Blizzard’s game studios, Raven Software:

Microsoft won’t stand in the way if Activision-Blizzard recognizes a union. Microsoft respects the right of Activision Blizzard employees to choose to be represented by a labor organization and we will honor those decisions.

Microsoft’s wording, while very deliberate and cautious, comes six years after it embarked on a similar effort to defuse its own impending unionization efforts by Lionbridge Technologies contractors.

Unfortunately, although Lionbridge Technologies and the help of Temporary Workers of America (TWA) negotiated the terms of paid time off, parental leave and raises, the supplier ultimately laid off all unionized employees about two months after finalizing the first contract for temporary workers.

As things stand in the Activision Blizzard case, the publisher has already failed to acknowledge the union effort of the quality assurance (QA) workers behind the Call of Duty studio, before the proposed deadline in January and is actively working against the process with an anti-union complaint filed against it.

As reported last week, Microsoft is bullish on the possibility of a completed acquisition of Activision Blizzard in early summer 2023, which gives the publisher and those looking to syndicate about a year and a half. to settle things.

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