QA workers at Blizzard Albany, formerly known as Vicarious Visions, have filed for unionization with the National Labor Relations Board. This is part of a wave of labor organization around the massive developer and publisher including walkouts at Blizzard HQ and QA employees at Raven forming a union.
The workers, organizing with the name Game Worker Alliance Albany, took to Twitter to announce the declaration of their union and to discuss issues the groups wishes to advocate for. The statement emphasizes fair compensation, pay transparency, and work-life balance. It concludes with urging Activision Blizzard to “voluntarily recognize our union & respect our right to organize without retaliation or interference.”
We at Blizzard Albany pride ourselves on our craft and our culture. With a union, we will finally
have a seat at the table for negotiating our futures. We ask that @ATVI_AB voluntarily recognize
our union & respect our right to organize without retaliation or interference. 5/5
— GWA Albany (@WeAreGWAAlbany) July 19, 2022
According to the Washington Post, the workers requested that Activision Blizzard voluntarily recognize their union last Thursday. Activision Blizzard has responded, but has also provided no elaboration as to whether it will recognize the union. In a statement delivered to the Washington Post, Activision Blizzard’s spokesperson said, “We deeply respect the rights of all employees under the law to make their own decisions about whether or not to join a union. We believe that a direct relationship between the company and its employees is the most productive relationship. The company will be publicly and formally providing a response to the petition to the NLRB.”
Whether Activision Blizzard will recognize the union or not is still unknown, but Microsoft recently promised to recognize any Activision Blizzard union once the in-progress acquisition is completed.
Blizzard Albany was in the news earlier this year as the studio’s merger into Blizzard became official. This newest instance of worker organization at Blizzard comes after accusations of workplace mismanagement and toxic culture at the company. Another walkout to address healthcare is scheduled for later in July.