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Microsoft 'Will Honor' Activision Blizzard Employees' Decisions on Unionization, According to a New Report

Christina Gonzalez Updated: Posted:
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According to a new Washington Post report, Microsoft “will not stand in the way” if Activision Blizzard employees decide to unionize. Microsoft agreed to buy Activision Blizzard for nearly $70 billion, but that deal won’t be finalized for more than a year, so all of this is forward-looking.

Employees at Raven Software, which was at the center of a strike and whose employees decided to unionize, later asking for voluntary recognition by Activision Blizzard that never came, sent a letter to Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella recently. In the letter, 15 Raven employees highlight a part of the merger’s SEC filing that makes Activision Blizzard responsible for getting Microsoft’s approval to voluntarily recognize a union or enter into collective bargaining. The Raven employees, who decided to unionize under the name Game Workers Alliance, then ask if Microsoft has given approval for Activision Blizzard to recognize a union or if the company had directed a refusal. And if there was no discussion on the matter, if Microsoft would voluntarily recognize their union.

Microsoft’s statement to the Washington Post came from Lisa Tanzi, corporate VP and general counsel, who said that, “Microsoft respects Activision Blizzard employees’ right to choose whether to be represented by a labor organization and we will honor those decisions”.

However, it was also reported that the Communications Workers of America, which backs Game Workers Alliance, had not gotten a response to the letter directly from Microsoft and the media statement has been the only response at all.

Workers at Raven Software have filed for an election with the National Labor Relations Board, but there’s a dispute on just who will be eligible to vote on whether or not to unionize. Activision Blizzard maintains that the entirety of Raven should have a say, while Raven QA employees that originally stated intent to unionize want to be able to vote as a department. A judge will eventually decide on eligibility before a formal vote is held. 


Christina Gonzalez

Christina is MMORPG.COM’s News Editor and a contributor since 2011. Always a fan of great community and wondering if the same sort of magic that was her first guild exists anymore.