As the efforts for unionization and employee organization continue to grow, especially among companies like Activision Blizzard, Apple, and Amazon, Microsoft is seemingly taking a stance for rather than against unions. The company recently published a page of principles in which it pledges to support and respect unions and labor organization, supporting a similar recent mood expressed by Xbox’s Phil Spencer.
Microsoft President and Vice Chair of the Board Brad Smith released the company’s new set of principles related to labor organization on June 2, 2022.
“Our employees do not need to organize to have a dialogue with Microsoft’s leaders,” Smith wrote in an accompanying tweet. “But we also recognize the workplace is changing. That’s why we are sharing principles to guide our approach with labor organizations.”
The principles themselves begin by stressing Brad Smith’s open-door policy at Microsoft, but also concede recognition that employees have a right to organize a union if they so desire. Furthermore, Microsoft will support positive collaboration and communications with unions when needs of workers demand union intervention.
Microsoft’s principles end with a pledged dedication to keeping positive relationships with all of its employees and not differentiating between treatment of employees whether they’re union or not.
The publication of these new Microsoft principles follows closely after Xbox lead Phil Spencer also took a stance on unions, claiming Xbox would recognize and respect the organization of a union at Raven Software once the Activision Blizzard acquisition is complete. While at the time, Spencer’s words begged the question of whether or not Microsoft would back them up, it seems the company’s official address of unions seem to be more in support of Spencer’s pledge to Raven Software employees than not.
It will be interesting to see how things shake out after the $68.7 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard is closed. However, for now, it looks like Microsoft is willing to play ball with unions should it need to.