A video game studio called “Proletariat” refuses to recognize unions, the company is accused of anti-union practices
Activision Blizzard once again appears to be standing in the way of tying one of its studios together. This time, the problem concerns the former Spellbreak developer, Proletariat. The video game studio was set to unionize with the help of the Communications Workers of America (CWA), but Activision Blizzard issued a statement saying it would not recognize the union until a new official vote had taken place. United States Council on Relations (NLRB). CWA claims this is part of Activision Blizzard’s strategy to cripple worker organizations.
The proletariat, whose name is a term that denotes the working class, was acquired by Activision Blizzard last summer to participate in the development of the World of Warcraft extension, Dragonflight. After the release of Dragonflight, the workers of the Proletariat announced their intention to unionize at the end of December. If recognized, the Proletariat would be Activision Blizzard’s third union and the first to consist of all workers, not just the studio’s quality assurance department. The Workers’ Proletarian Alliance (PWA) wants “the proletariat to recognize the union and negotiate in good faith”.
The Workers’ Proletarian Alliance has taken these steps in collaboration with the American Communications Workers (CWA). But the leadership of the proletariat has just announced its official response rejecting the demands of the workers. Activision Blizzard Management and the Proletariat shared a statement on the Proletariat studio website on January 9, 2023. that many employees prefer anonymous voting and that he has submitted a request to the NLRB for the vote to be taken.
Respond @proletariat_inc leadership blog in which he voluntarily refuses to recognize a supermajority @WeArePWA_CWA signed card + forced the union to vote with the NLRB, the workers’ proletariat has issued a statement:
Everyone has the right to unity.” 1/
— KODE-CWA (@CODE_CWA) January 10, 2023
On December 27, 2022, C petitioned to represent exclusively a number of workers of the Proletariat as part of their union. Since then, we’ve realized that many of our employees prefer to vote anonymously. To that end, we submitted our formal position to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) today, and requested that the voting process be conducted anonymously. “As well as being the fairest choice, it also allows employees to get all the information and different points of view,” wrote studio management in a statement.
Activision Blizzard and the Proletariat went on to explain the reasons behind their actions, saying that it was to ensure that all voices were properly heard: the leadership of the Proletariat was and has always been in the support of the workers. In fact, the name Proletariat was inspired by the dissatisfaction of its founders as industrial workers. They want everyone to share in the success and ownership of the studio, and to be treated fairly. This includes everyone from seniors to new developers, whether managers or individual contributors, across all disciplines that make up the company.
In a statement provided by GameSpot, a Blizzard spokesperson said: Shortly after the CWA filed a petition for union election on the Proletariat, several employees said that they felt pressured to sign union cards, they were not given enough information about what they were signing and what’s that. mean when they sign. Given these facts, we firmly believe that anonymous voting is the fairest option. Many employees have asked for it because it gives them the opportunity to gather facts and ideas about these important decisions without outside pressure.
CWA disagreed with Activision Blizzard’s position and decision on the matter, accusing the company of using an anti-union action plan that had been implemented in other cases. The group has been accused of using union-busting tactics in its negotiations with Raven Software and Blizzard Albany subsidiaries, which opted to unionize. However, the 57 workers who joined the union obtained the approval of a powerful figure: American senator Elizabeth Warren. On Twitter, Warren – the senior senator from Massachusetts, where the Proletariat is based – said he was firmly on the union’s side.
To the workers of the Boston Proletariat, I was with you when you organized [le Communications Workers of America] to form trade unions and fight for fair benefits and working conditions. When workers organize, workers win, he wrote. The CWA has also voiced its disapproval: the leaders of the Proletariat and our Activision leadership have rejected our demands for neutrality talks and forced us to carry out NLRB elections, even though most of our bargaining units have signed trade union cards, i.e. unfavorable for the workers.
Their actions this week are right out of the anti-union playbook used by Activision and many others,” the CWA added in a statement. If Microsoft’s $69 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard clears legal hurdles, other studios looking to unionize within Activision Blizzard may find it easier down the line. Indeed, Microsoft entered into a neutral labor agreement with CWA last year that will make it easier, not more difficult, for employees to join or form a union, if the acquisition is successful.
Last week, QA (Quality Assurance) testers at ZeniMax managed to unionize after Microsoft voluntarily recognized ZeniMax Workers United. Microsoft is far more open to unions, which is what led CWA to support Microsoft’s takeover of Activision Blizzard.
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