According to Blizzard Albany’s QA staff, Activision is back to breaking the union. They claim Activision has again hired the Reed Smith law firm, a firm that has unsuccessfully suppressed Raven QA’s union in the past — despite multiple rounds of anti-union propaganda.
Blizzard Albany, formerly Vicarious Visions, is currently developing Diablo 4 and is trying to form a union, as Raven’s QA department did.as found small house“Instead of following Microsoft’s lead and committing to a labor-neutral agreement, Activision has made the clear and conscious decision to deny our basic labor rights while again spending hundreds of thousands of dollars. At a union-busting company.”
The Albany Gaming Workers Union is unionizing to ensure better pay, health care and a healthier work/life balance – all these ridiculously evil corporations hate.
Activision sought to undermine the organization’s efforts by repeating the same rhetoric as Raven QA, arguing that all Blizzard Albany employees should be on the ballot, not just the QA team.
Activision didn’t tell Kotaku how much it paid Reed Smith or why Kotaku was rehiring it, but did comment to Kotaku, “Given that this change could have an impact on the roughly 150 people in Albany (formerly Vicarious Visions)” Significant impact, and we believe every Diablo employee working in Albany should have a direct say in this decision; it should not be made by less than 15% of the workforce.”
The QA department is often the worst-paid part of a game development studio, which is why it’s no surprise that its QA department was the first to unionize at major AAA game studios.
The news comes despite Activision CEO Bobby Kotick saying he will be “in good faith negotiations with the Raven QA union.” It doesn’t look like he and the company are keen to unionize more workers.
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