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Activision Blizzard to make U.S. testers full-time in the midst of unionization debate

Following the strike at Raven Software, which dragged on for several months, employees are fighting for approval of their unionization.

Activision Blizzard to make U.S. testers full-time in the midst of unionization debate

2021 was complicated for Activision Blizzard because it has faced serious accusations of sexual and labor harassment. Several fronts have opened up for the American giant in a battle in which the last shot has not yet been fired. Raven Software employees took part in a strike and have not yet succeeded in getting the company to recognize their unionization. In that context, the company has announced that it will make more than 1,000 workers at its U.S. studios permanent, all of them in the QA department.

“Today we announced the conversion of all US-based temporary and contingent QA team members at Activision Publishing and Blizzard,” said in an official statement. “Nearly 1,100 people in total – to permanent full-time employees starting on July 1”. As revealed by VGC, in an internal email sent by Joshua Taub, CCO of Activision Blizzard, the executive has applauded the efforts of the workers who are responsible for ensuring the quality of their products:

“QA is, and continues to be, critical to our development success. We have amazing QA teams in place that work hard to ensure our players have the best possible gaming experiences: thank you.” According to Taub, they plan to have periods of overwork in the development of Call of Duty, so they are "adding extra support" from "external partners". In addition, they will increase the minimum hourly pay by $20.

Unions celebrate and warn: "They won't stop us"

From A Better AKB, a group of employees who have worked to achieve these goals, have celebrated the news as a victory. "For almost a year now, ABK Workers Alliance has stood up for our QA employees" and has given a good account of "the problems they face." The Game Workers Alliance also recalled that they have been organizing "for this and much more". In his view, it is proof that "their collective organizing efforts are working" and he warned that they are not "going to stop."

Microsoft has let it be known that it will not oppose the unionization of the studios, as long as Activision Blizzard approves (which is not the case at the moment).

Source | VGC