The Washington Post reports that the National Labor Relations Board has found that Activision Blizzard withheld raises from those pushing for unionization and organization at Raven Software.
“It’s a very preliminary win for the union at this point. It gives them a little bit of leverage,” said former chairman of the NLRB Wila Liebman. “It’s part of their tactics, you know, hit them wherever they can, to put pressure on the company in order to reach an agreement with them and to stop violating the law.”
A statement was given to the Washington Post on behalf of Activision Blizzard.
“Due to legal obligations under the [National Labor Relations Act] requiring employers not to grant wage increases while an election was pending,” it reads, “we could not institute new pay initiatives at Raven because they would be brand new kinds of compensation changes, which had not been planned beforehand. This rule that employers should not grant these kinds of wage increases has been the law for many years.”
It has been a rough road for the Raven Software QA union, better known as the Game Workers Alliance. After their 19-3 vote in favor of organizing, Activision Blizzard failed to recognize the union. Phil Spencer, the head of Xbox, said that the company would recognize the Game Workers Alliance should Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard go through.
The success of the GWA team at Raven Software, located in the suburbs of Madison, Wisconsin, inspired the Albany Blizzard QA team to form the Albany branch of the Game Workers Alliance.
“I want a union to ensure my coworkers and I have the power required for our voices to matter in this company,” a developer is quoted in a tweet for GWA Albany. “For us to have a fighting chance, now and in the future, for our needs to be met. I want fairness for us, and I think that’s a fine reason to come together.”