Blizzard Albany employees have decided to follow in the footsteps of Raven Software. A group of the studio’s QA testers are now forming a union and seeking Activision Blizzard’s recognition.
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20 testers, who call themselves the Game Workers Alliance Albany, filed for a union election with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), The Washington Post reported.
“We, the QA testers of Blizzard Albany, are committed to fostering an open, diverse & equitable workplace,” the group said in a statement on Twitter. “We demand an environment where our skills, ideals, & democratic decisions are valued and respected.”
The GWA Albany believes that QA is now an “undervalued discipline” in the games industry. So the group has set several goals to change the situation for the better:
- Secure competitive and fair compensation, pay transparency, and improved health care coverage;
- Establish transparent processes to address workplace issues;
- Improve work-life balance and address demands of crunch time.
We at Blizzard Albany pride ourselves on our craft and our culture. With a union, we will finally
have a seat at the table for negotiating our futures. We ask that @ATVI_AB voluntarily recognize
our union & respect our right to organize without retaliation or interference. 5/5
— GWA Albany (@WeAreGWAAlbany) July 19, 2022
Activision Blizzard has already acknowledged the group’s request, but the union is yet to be recognized by the company.
“We deeply respect the rights of all employees under the law to make their own decisions about whether or not to join a union,” Activision Blizzard spokesperson Rich George stated. “We believe that a direct relationship between the company and its employees is the most productive relationship. The company will be publicly and formally providing a response to the petition to the NLRB.”
Blizzard Albany’s efforts come almost two months after Raven Software registered the first union at a major US game company. Workers at other studios are now also trying to unionize, including Dragon Age testers at Keyword Studios.