Wednesday, September 13, 2023
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As reported by the Washington Post, representatives from Activision Blizzard and Blizzard Albany held a digital listening to over Zoom with the National Labor Relations Board to argue if Blizzard Albany must be acknowledged as a union. 

Earlier this yr, Blizzard Albany fashioned a union to make sure higher working situations and pay for its QA division. Shortly after, Activision Blizzard later stated it would not willingly acknowledge that union. “Our high precedence stays our staff,” stated an organization spokesperson on the time. “We deeply respect the rights of all staff beneath the regulation to make their very own selections about whether or not or to not be part of a union.” 

The labor listening to has lasted all week, throughout which Activision Blizzard’s attorneys have resorted to numerous ways to make its case to the NLRB. One such tactic noticed the attorneys revealing footage from the upcoming Diablo IV that featured a listing of the sport’s QA testers. 

During that footage, Activision Blizzard allegedly launched the quilt letter and social media of a selected QA tester. Among Blizzard Albany staff, that disclosure is alleged by the Washington Post to have upset a number of of them, who’ve turn out to be fearful about on-line harassment.

One Blizzard Albany worker, who spoke beneath anonymity, referred to as it “darkly ironic” that Activision Blizzard might overtly publish such data through the listening to.

“If an employee wants to be able to update their portfolio or do something that might help them find better employment elsewhere, they have to wait until the game is released,” stated the worker. “But when the corporate desires to argue towards what the vast majority of staff in a given unit have said is of their greatest curiosity and what they need, it’s completely tremendous for them to simply share stuff.”

Previously, Activision Blizzard has been accused of using union-busting ways, equivalent to shuffling Raven’s QA group throughout varied firm departments.

When Raven Software’s QA staff unionized earlier within the yr, Activision Blizzard argued that each one of Raven’s staff ought to have a say in unionization, and the same case was made right here. This time, the writer’s attorneys argued that extra staff must be allowed to vote within the union election, however solely ones who particularly work on Diablo video games.

“We consider strongly that no worker must be disenfranchised and that creativity, inspiration and the free alternate of concepts work greatest when all nonsupervisory staff in Albany engaged on Diablo get to take part within the vote, not simply 20 high quality assurance testers recognized by the union,” stated Activision Blizzard spokesperson Rich George stated in an announcement to The Washington Post.

Game Developer has reached out to Activision Blizzard for remark, will replace accordingly. 

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