Raven QA testers still don’t know who they report to following organizational changes to prevent unionization.
Activision Blizzard management argues that everyone at Raven Software should vote on organizing efforts put forward by the Game Workers Alliance, an unofficial union formed by Raven’s QA testers. The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) held hearings on Wednesday with Raven Software employees and management to discuss the merits of organizing efforts and who should vote to unionize.
The Washington Post reported that much of the initial hearing was spent discussing definitions of who should get a vote to unionize. Raven management lobbied for every Raven employee to vote in an effort to dilute union support as much as possible.
Raven’s QA team announced plans to form North America’s first gaming union last month following an extended strike following mass layoffs. The remaining 34 QA testers applied for union recognition but were denied by Raven management and Activision Blizzard. Since then, management has adopted several anti-union strategies, including mandatory viewings of anti-union propaganda and organizational changes that embed quality assurance testers in all of Raven’s various studio divisions.
During the NLRB hearing, Raven QA testers testified that in the weeks following these organizational changes, many still don’t know who they report to or what they even should be doing. Org charts presented by Activision Blizzard showed QA testers embedded in ridiculous places like marketing and IT. Sources speaking to The Washington Post said several Raven employees captured the org chart to create memes poking fun at Activision Blizzard.
“Management’s lack of transparency during this process, coupled with its refusal to engage with Raven QA workers, has been demoralizing,” the Game Workers Alliance said in a statement. “It’s high time for Activision Blizzard to recognize that we – the workers – organized our union and we are not backing down.”
Various experts speaking to The Post have noted that Activision Blizzard’s tactics show little has changed within the company. A strange course, considering how Microsoft has publicly stated that Activision Blizzard needs to change in order for top executives to keep their jobs after Microsoft acquires the company next summer.
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