Quality Assurance Workers at Blizzard Albany Win NLRB Election After Activision’s Attempt to Delay Count, Becomes Second Certified Union at Activision Blizzard
(ALBANY, NEW YORK) — Today Quality Assurance workers at Blizzard Albany won their union election in an unanimous 14-0 vote and will be represented by the Communications Workers of America. This victory comes despite Activision’s aggressive union-busting campaign, including their request that votes be impounded. The workers, known as Albany Game Workers Alliance/CWA, are the second group to win union representation at Activision Blizzard.
“It took an unbelievable amount of work and perseverance to move this fight forward. With this victory, we’re advocating for ourselves and each other because we care deeply about our work and the games we make. Organizing has empowered all of us to fight hard for the dignity and respect every worker deserves on the job,” said Amanda Deep,Associate Test Analyst at Blizzard Albany. “Our colleagues at Raven inspired us when they announced the formation of the Game Workers Alliance/CWA. We can only hope that our win will continue to grow the labor movement at other video game studios across the country,”
In May, quality assurance workers at Raven Software studio in Wisconsin became the first certified union at Activision Blizzard. However, after the company publicly embraced the results of the Raven election, Activision quickly backpedaled when QA workers in Albany asked for union representation. In fact, the company has made several efforts to thwart organizing efforts including a company-wide Slack message disparaging the union, which prompted CWA to file an unfair labor practice charge.
“Albany Blizzard workers never wavered in the face of adversity. Instead, they remained resilient and steadfast, which is a testament to the organizing they’ve done to ensure quality assurance workers are treated with fairness and respect for the work that they do,” said CWA Secretary-Treasurer Sara Steffens. “QA workers at Blizzard Albany and Raven Software have elevated the conversation around unions in the video game industry, and they’ve also opened the door for other studios to organize. We’re incredibly proud to welcome Albany Game Workers Alliance/CWA into our union.”
Workers across the video game industry are collectivizing to reject burn out culture, crunch, wage discrepancies and more. Game Workers Alliance/CWA will empower Blizzard QA workers and secure a contract that ensures competitive and fair compensation, better benefits, and establishes transparency without fear of retaliation. The workers look forward to having transparent contract negotiations with management that will ensure workers are protected and compensated for their work.
Follow Albany Game Workers Alliance (CWA) at @WeAreGWAAlbany
The Campaign to Organize Digital Employees (CODE-CWA) is a network of worker-organizers and their staff working every single day to build the voice and power necessary to ensure the future of the tech, game, and digital industries in the United States and Canada.
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