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Microsoft won't block unionisation efforts at Activision Blizzard

Response to letter by QA staff at Raven Software.

Microsoft will not object to Activision Blizzard recognising unionisation efforts from its staff.

As reported by Axios, Microsoft responded to a letter from Activision staff at Call of Duty studio Raven Software looking to unionise.

QA testers at the studio announced their intent to unionise back in January. Their bid continued despite Activision Blizzard missing the deadline to acknowledge their efforts.

Following the announcement of Microsoft's $69bn takeover of the publisher, staff sent a letter to CEO Satya Nadella requesting information on the company's involvement in approving or denying unionisation efforts.

It additionally asks: "[W]hat conditions, if any, will Microsoft put on the collective bargaining process?"

A Microsoft spokesperson responded to Axios, stating: "Microsoft will not stand in the way if Activision Blizzard recognises a union.

"Microsoft respects Activision Blizzard employees' right to choose whether to be represented by a labour organisation and we will honour those decisions."

The Washington Post also acquired the letter, reporting it denounces the involvement of law firm Reed Smith, which published anti-union material on its website.

"I hope that you will agree that this demeaning and insulting approach to employees who are seeking to improve their workplace should not be tolerated," reads the letter.

The Game Workers Alliance set up by staff at Raven Software is yet to respond publicly to Microsoft's comments, though earlier this month it reiterated its intention to unionise.

"With a protected voice on the job we will compel management to listen & implement changes we know will not just benefit Raven QA, but will send a message across the industry," reads a tweet. "That is why we will not stop organising."

The ABetterABK workers alliance is also continuing to fight for unionisation.

A new lawsuit has also been filed against Activision Blizzard, following fresh allegations of sexual harassment and discrimination.

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Ed Nightingale avatar

Ed Nightingale

News reporter

Ed is Reporter at Eurogamer, with an interest in streaming, people and communities, and giving a voice to marginalised people.

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