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Quality Assurance Workers at Activision Establish Largest Certified Union in the U.S. Video Game Industry with Communications Workers of America

(SANTA MONICA, Calif.)—Workers at Activision Central Quality Assurance have joined the Communications Workers of America (CWA), and Microsoft has recognized their union. A neutral arbitrator confirmed today that a majority of the workers have either signed a union authorization card or indicated that they wanted union representation via an online portal. The workers are the first to organize at Activision under the labor neutrality agreement between CWA and Microsoft, which took effect upon the completion of the company’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard.

With approximately 600 members, Activision Quality Assurance United-CWA is the largest group of union-represented workers at any U.S. game studio. Workers in the new unit are located in California, Texas, and Minnesota. Over 1,000 video game workers at Microsoft now have union representation with CWA.

“Microsoft continues to keep its commitment to let workers decide for themselves whether they want a union,” said Communications Workers of America President Claude Cummings Jr. “Time and again, other big companies in the industry have made the decision to undermine and attack their own employees when they join together to form a union. Microsoft's choice will strengthen its corporate culture and ability to serve its customers and should serve as a model for the industry.”

“My coworkers and I are excited to announce our union today as members of Activision Quality Assurance United-CWA. We wanted to see improvements in the workplace, including higher wages and getting more career opportunities, and so were eager to unionize. Quality Assurance roles are described as a way to get your foot in the door in the video game industry, but the truth is, at best, we get the internal job posting before the public does. We’re ready to grow our careers here and believe that having a strong union contract will set workers and the company up for success,” said Kara Fannon, Functional QA Tester 1 and member of Activision Quality Assurance United-CWA.

"We maintained our commitment to remain neutral during the organizing campaign, and following this vote, we recognize the Communications Workers of America (CWA) as the bargaining representative for the Activision Publishing Central Quality Assurance employees. We look forward to continuing our positive labor management relationship," said Amy Pannoni, Vice President and Deputy General Counsel, HR Legal at Microsoft.

Last year, quality assurance workers at Microsoft’s ZeniMax studios joined ZeniMax Workers United/CWA. Microsoft also remained neutral during that organizing effort and recognized the union under a similar process. ZeniMax workers are currently negotiating their first contract and have reached groundbreaking agreements on subcontracting and artificial intelligence.

“As members of Activision Quality Assurance United-CWA, we’re showing what is possible when workers are able to freely organize. As individual workers, there is only so much positive change we can create. We all want to build long-term, sustainable careers in this industry, and having a seat at the table as a union will allow us to work together collectively to make a better workplace,” said Tom Shelley, Technical Requirement Specialist and member of Activision Quality Assurance United-CWA.

Activision Quality Assurance United-CWA joins the wave of game workers at Raven Software, ZeniMax, Blizzard Albany, SEGA, TCGPlayer/eBay, and more, who have organized with CODE-CWA to build a better workplace. The workers will be joining CWA Locals 9400 (California), 6215 (Texas), and 7250 (Minnesota).


The Campaign to Organize Digital Employees (CODE-CWA) is a network of worker-organizers and their staff working every single day to build the voice and power necessary to ensure the future of the tech, game, and digital industries in the United States and Canada. CODE-CWA is a project of the Communications Workers of America, which represents hundreds of thousands of workers throughout tech, media, telecom, and other industries who stand together to fight for justice on the job and in our communities.

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