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Microsoft to recognize Activision Blizzard union following acquisition

Microsoft has confirmed it will respect Activision Blizzard employees' rights to unionize.

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With QA employees at Raven Software unionizing and Activision Blizzard finally agreeing to enter negotiations and acknowledge the union, a major step has been taken in the fight for workers’ rights in the gaming industry. With the pending acquisition of Activision Blizzard by Microsoft, there have been questions surrounding whether or not Microsoft would interfere with the unionization of workers. Now, the company has confirmed it will respect Activision Blizzard employee’s rights to form a union.

Speaking with The Washington Post, Microsoft president Brad Smith stated that the company will enter a labor neutrality agreement with Communications Workers of America, a group that’s been helping companies in the gaming industry form unions. "It means that we don’t try to put a thumb on the scale to influence or pressure them. We give people the opportunity to exercise their right to choose by voting ... it’s something that’s respectful of everyone, more amicable and avoids business disruption.”

Microsoft has already stated in the past that it plans to work with employee unions, but that was more so a verbal agreement. The company’s plans to recognize the union formed within Activision Blizzard is now official. This comes just days after Activision Blizzard said it would recognize and negotiate with Raven Software’s union, after previously pushing back on the notion.

Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard has not yet been completed, but when it does, it looks like the Raven Software union will not be in jeopardy. With the parent company seeming to be open to the idea, it will be interesting to see if other groups within Microsoft’s massive empire will look to form unions as well. The developments at Raven Software over the past six months will likely have major ramifications not just for its parent companies, but for the gaming industry at large. We’ll continue to follow the situation and report the latest developments.

News Editor

Donovan is a young journalist from Maryland, who likes to game. His oldest gaming memory is playing Pajama Sam on his mom's desktop during weekends. Pokémon Emerald, Halo 2, and the original Star Wars Battlefront 2 were some of the most influential titles in awakening his love for video games. After interning for Shacknews throughout college, Donovan graduated from Bowie State University in 2020 with a major in broadcast journalism and joined the team full-time. He is a huge Star Wars nerd and film fanatic that will talk with you about movies and games all day. You can follow him on twitter @Donimals_

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