Updated below with a statement from Blizzard:
After an initial call for the full studio to unionize last month, followed by word that some workers felt pressured into signing union cards, Blizzard-owned Proletariat has withdrawn its request for an anonymous unionization vote.
Previous unionization successes via the Communication Workers of America have been held at Raven Software and Blizzard Albany, although both of those were unionization votes by QA workers only. When Proletariat declared the intent to unionize under the Communication Workers of America, as Raven and Blizzard Albany had, it was for the full studio.
The initial announcement said that a supermajority of workers had already agreed to unionize, pending either formal recognition from Activision Blizzard or a unionization vote through the National Labor Relations Board.
However, today, the Communication Workers of America withdrew the request (via GamesIndustry.biz) for a unionization vote, with some words for Proletariat CEO Seth Sivak. “Like many founders, he took the workers' concerns as a personal attack and held a series of meetings that demoralized and disempowered the group, making a free and fair election impossible,” their statement read, also putting blame on Activision Blizzard. They also cite the recently established ZeniMax union under Microsoft, which formally recognized the bargaining unit.
More recently, there were reports of discord among the workers, with a Blizzard spokesperson sending a comment that said that some workers had felt pressured into declaring themselves open to unionization. Since there was no formal recognition of a unionization effort, the next step was to file a petition with the NLRB for a vote, which Proletariat had decided should be an anonymous vote, saying, “Besides being the fairest option, this also allows employees to get all the information and various points of view”.
Later, the Twitter account for the Proletariat Workers Alliance released its own statement on these developments, lending an optimistic note: “There continues to be ongoing and healthy conversations amongst the proposed bargaining unit and the workers look forward to collaborating together!”
The previous tweets were the statements of our Organizing Committee, and not representative of all Proletariat workers. There continues to be ongoing and healthy conversations amongst the proposed bargaining unit and the workers look forward to collaborating together! https://t.co/qN2JQKIs2t— Proletariat Workers Alliance (CWA) (@WeArePWA_CWA) January 17, 2023
We reached out for comment and a Blizzard spokesperson provided the following:
We appreciate that the CWA has unilaterally decided to withdraw its petition in response to employee feedback. As we’ve stated, we welcomed the opportunity for each employee to safely express their preferences through a confidential vote.Our team at Proletariat does extraordinary work every day. They remain focused on continuing to make Proletariat a place where all can grow, thrive, and be part of an amazing team and culture.