Activision Drags Feet On Union Negotiations As New Call of Duty Breaks Sales Records

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Activision Drags Feet On Union Negotiations As New Call of Duty Breaks Sales Records

After more than five months since QA testers at Raven Software voted to form Game Workers’ Alliance, one of the first unions in the American videogame industry, GWA has said that Activision continues to stall negotiations. In a post from Game Workers’ Alliance about their latest meeting with the company, they ran down the many requests that Activision continues to defer, such as for remote work to become permanent, “protection for employees who require reproductive health care and services in light of the reversal of Roe v. Wade,” pay increases, improved clarity around job definition and structure, and more.

One of the most striking elements is that as union organizing at Raven was gaining steam back in April, Activision raised the minimum QA wage for all testers outside of the unionizing group and has continued to refuse to give these employees a wage boost. While Activision claims this is because they are prohibited from doing so until bargaining is complete, the National Labor Relations Board found they had retaliated against unionizing employees by denying the wage increases. If the company doesn’t settle, the case will go to court.

The GWA’s blog post, which details how the company refuses to give a modest wage increase to the unionizing employees, comes after Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 earned Activision-Blizzard $800 million in just three days, beating out sales records for previous entries in the series.

Over the last few years, Activision Blizzard has been caught in a series of scandals. In 2021, the company was sued by the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing over working conditions for female employees, including the mishandling of widespread sexual abuse and gender discrimination. Last month, the company was hit with an additional lawsuit over sexual harassment.

Bobby Kotick, the CEO of the company, has refused to step down despite reports that he had known about the widespread sexual misconduct that took place at the company but failed to intervene. Activision Blizzard is still awaiting regulator approval over its nearly $70 billion deal to be acquired by Microsoft.

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