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Third Activision Blizzard studio files to unionize ahead of proposed Microsoft acquisition

Updated Jan 17th, 2023 12:33PM EST
Xbox acquires Activision Blizzard
Image: Microsoft

Proletariat Studios has now become the third studio owned by Activision Blizzard that has filed to unionize.

In a press release, the Communications Workers of America union announced the planned unionization effort, saying that “a supermajority of workers at Activision Blizzard’s Proletariat studio has announced that they are forming the Proletariat Workers Alliance/CWA and have filed for a union representation election with the National Labor Relations Board.”

CWA Secretary-Treasurer Sara Steffens, in a prepared statement, seems to be supporting the proposed acquisition of Activision Blizzard by Microsoft, pointing to the current “toxic, hostile work environment” that has been reported on with the current leadership at the company.

“Activision leadership’s attempts to prevent its workers from joining together in a union have not only been a waste of time and money, they have caused further damage to morale and underlined the company’s reputation for creating a toxic, hostile work environment. Microsoft has shown that even the largest American corporations can choose a different path and allow workers to freely and fairly choose whether or not they want union representation. It’s not too late for Activision’s leadership to change course and begin to repair the company’s public image and the relationship with their workers by recognizing the Proletariat workers’ union and committing to productive engagement at the bargaining table.”

Dustin Yost, a Software Engineer at Proletariat, said that workers started discussing a unionization effort as soon as employees learned of the studio’s acquisition by Activision Blizzard.

“Everyone in the video game industry knows Activision Blizzard’s reputation for creating a hostile work environment, so earlier this year, when we heard that Blizzard was planning to acquire Proletariat, we started to discuss how we could protect the great culture we have created here. By forming a union and negotiating a contract, we can make sure that we are able to continue doing our best work and create innovative experiences at the frontier of game development.”

While workers at the studio and the union seem to be in support of Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard, the deal is in jeopardy due to a lawsuit by the FTC to block the deal.

On Wednesday, December 28th, Activision Blizzard provided the following statement to BGR in regard to this story:

Our top priority remains our employees, and we value the contributions the talented Proletariat team made since joining Blizzard this summer. We received the petition on Wednesday and will provide a response to the NLRB in the coming days.

Joe Wituschek Tech News Contributor

Joe Wituschek is a Tech News Contributor for BGR.

With expertise in tech that spans over 10 years, Joe covers the technology industry's breaking news, opinion pieces and reviews.

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