Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick has sent a memo stating that they will begin the process of negotiation with Raven Software’s recently unionized employees. Kotick’s memo says that the company “will engage in good faith negotiations to enter into a collective bargaining agreement”.
After previously refusing to formally recognize a union declared by Game Workers Alliance, a decision by the US National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) that about two dozen Raven Software workers were eligible to vote on whether or not they wanted to form a union as GWA, represented by Communications Workers of America.
Now, this significant step seems to show that, following the vote, Activision Blizzard seems to be recognizing and not fighting the union legally any longer. This follows with legal requirements after the NLRB vote, provided an employer wasn't somehow contesting the outcome. With a clear victory for GWA, it seems things will begin to move ahead. How long it might take won’t be known anytime soon.
New: Activision Blizzard CEO sent a memo out today stating the company will begin negotiations with Raven’s newly formed union on a collective bargaining agreement. pic.twitter.com/J23ZNNd7W6— CharlieIntel (@charlieINTEL) June 10, 2022
“While first labor contracts can take some time to complete, we will meet CWA leaders at the bargaining table and work toward an agreement that supports the success of all our employees,” Kotick said. He also pointed to the company’s recently announced decision to convert about 1,100 United States based contract and temporary workers into full time employees and give them a pay raise. These plans didn’t apply to Raven workers, however, and at the time, the company cited the stated desire to unionize and claimed they could not give these workers any new contract conditions since it wouldn’t be formally bargained.
The statement is only the beginning, and since it is a legal requirement after the NLRB vote, some are concerned that there might be some dragging the process out. With the Microsoft takeover and merger still in the approval process stage, there might be a clock to run out with the current leadership, but it remains to be seen how the negotiations go. Microsoft has already said that it would honor any labor decisions.