Washington, D.C. – Today, the Communications Workers of America (CWA) sent a letter to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in support of Microsoft’s proposed acquisition of Activision Blizzard in light of the ground-breaking labor neutrality agreement between CWA and Microsoft which provides Activision Blizzard workers with a clear path to collective bargaining.
“Microsoft’s binding commitments will give employees a seat at the table and ensure that the acquisition of Activision Blizzard benefits the company’s workers and the broader video game labor market,” wrote CWA President Chris Shelton.
CWA had previously expressed concerns about the impact of the merger on workers and has encouraged the FTC to recognize the importance of collective bargaining in addressing these concerns. The neutrality agreement, announced on June 13, reflects a shared understanding of the current obstacles facing workers under today’s broken U.S. labor laws.
These obstacles have been evident at Activision Blizzard where employees have faced retaliation after advocating for improved working conditions and raising up troubling issues regarding a company culture of sexist and discriminatory practices, pay inequity, workplace harassment, and abuse.
CWA has filed a number of unfair labor practice charges with the National Labor Relations Board on behalf of the workers who are organizing for change, and the Board announced in May that it found merit to allegations against Activision Blizzard.
Activision Blizzard is also under investigation by the NLRB for its aggressive attempts to prevent quality assurance testers at its Raven software studio from holding a union representation election.
By establishing a free and fair process for Activision Blizzard workers to choose union representation and a pathway to collective bargaining, the agreement sets a framework for other employers within the gaming and tech industries.