Microsoft says it will not object to Activision Blizzard acknowledging the internal union’s efforts in response to a letter from Activision employees urging the company to announce its position on the potential Call of Duty Raven Software Workers union. Software Studio Call of Duty Raven Software Studio. The organizers insist that Microsoft Corp. $69 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard Inc, which is expected to close in fiscal 2023, will not change their organizational plans or goals, and on Jan. 21, a group of Raven Software workers from Activision Raven Software, owned by Activision, said it called voluntarily recognize their Game Workers Alliance syndicate.
Microsoft Vice President and General Counsel Lisa Tanzi responded by issuing a statement to the Washington Post saying Microsoft “will not stand in the way” if Activision Blizzard’s management recognizes the union. Microsoft, which won the Metacritics Publisher of the Year award, said it “won’t interfere” with Activision Blizzard’s unionization if they decide to support it. While Microsoft is poised to take over the company soon, the industry giant won’t “hinder” workers trying to join unions, despite Activision Blizzard’s history of the union breaking up.
In the letter, Raven Software staff Raven Software highlights a portion of the SEC merger filing that makes Activision Blizzard responsible for obtaining Microsoft’s approval for voluntary union recognition or collective bargaining. In a Microsoft announcement provided by Axios and meant to be published in a local newspaper this weekend, Ravens Quality Assurance staff stated that “We have recently learned that as part of the proposed Activision Blizzard merger, Activision Blizzard must obtain Microsoft’s approval to voluntarily recognize or enter into with us collective labor agreement as a trade union”.
One of the latest business developments for Activision Blizzard is a continuation of the current merger issue where the Raven Software QA team is one of the developers working on Call of Duty – the Raven Software QA team is one of the developers working on Call of Duty, asked Microsoft to encourage Activision Blizzard to recognize their Game Workers Alliance syndicate on a voluntary basis.
Activision claims the decision was made before the Game Workers Alliance was formed, but an unnamed source told the Washington Post otherwise. While he did not go as far as directly supporting the Game Workers Alliance, he acknowledged that Microsoft is well aware of their organizing efforts and discussed the situation between the merger plans. While Microsoft will not stop trying to organize and advocate for workers’ rights to explore this option, Microsoft has not reported any discussions that have already taken place with Activision Blizzard. An Activision spokesperson told game news site Polygon that the company has refused to recognize the union.