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Statement from CWA, Game Workers Alliance (CWA) Following National Labor Relations Board Hearing

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Washington, D.C — Today, the National Labor Relations Board began its hearing on the Game Workers Alliance (CWA) petition for a union election for quality assurance (QA) department workers at the Raven game development studio. Although a supermajority of Raven QA workers signed cards showing their support for the union, a hearing was necessary because Activision Blizzard (ABK) management refused to recognize the union and is using every procedural route possible to delay the vote in an attempt to undermine the workers. During the proceedings, management presented an exhaustive and dishonest case around Raven QA workers’ job descriptions and day-to-day workflow in order to prevent them from moving forward with their union election. Furthermore, Activision leadership refused to elaborate on specific complaints about compensation or other work-life balance issues, and did not acknowledge inequitable pay gaps for Raven QA workers.

Statement from Tom Smith, National Organizing Director at CWA:

“Despite repeated public promises from top executives that Activision Blizzard is cleaning up its act and addressing its horrific culture of workplace abuses, the company’s actions in response to Raven QA workers’ decision to form a union demonstrate clearly that nothing has changed at ABK. The company has launched an anti-union campaign, spending thousands of dollars on notorious union-busting consultants. The anti-union playbook is built around the tactics of abuse: gaslighting, manipulation, and creating intentionally stressful workplace dynamics to demoralize union supporters. It comes from a place of fear – fear of workers having an independent voice, backed by a union contract. Microsoft should be concerned about the continued damage that this behavior is causing to the Activision Blizzard brand, and regulators should be prepared to take a close look at the impact of the proposed Microsoft acquisition on workers who have been systematically disempowered. We urge the NLRB to see through Activision’s contrived arguments and support Raven QA workers’ right to form and join a union under the law. ”

Statement from Game Workers Alliance (CWA):

Last week, Raven Software held a captive audience meeting, but it was clearly Activision's anti-union narrative being read from a script to thwart our organizing efforts. Unfortunately, we witnessed the same tired talking points today. The lack of transparency from management during this process, coupled with their refusal to come to the table with Raven QA workers, has been demoralizing. It’s past time for Activision Blizzard to recognize that we—the workers—have organized our union and we’re not backing down. We are ready to finally have a seat at the table, together, in order to positively shape our shared working conditions and the future of Activision Blizzard. We hope the NLRB doesn't turn a blind eye to Activision Blizzard’s constant attempts to undermine Game Workers Alliance (CWA) and allows our union to move forward to a democratic election.”

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The Campaign to Organize Digital Employees (CODE-CWA) is an initiative by the Communications Workers of America (CWA) supporting workers’ organizing efforts in the technology and game industries.

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