Raven Software staff to unionise without Activision Blizzard recognition

Raven Software staff to unionise without Activision Blizzard recognition

Staff in Raven Software's QA department are continuing with their plans to form a union despite parent company Activision Blizzard failing to recognise a union.

In a thread on Twitter, the newly-formed Game Workers Alliance union said that it was "disappointed" that the Call of Duty maker had chosen to not recognise the organisation voluntarily, but that it would continue to unionise regardless. GWA has filed papers with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).

"We, the supermajority of workers at Raven QA, are proud to be confidently filing our petition with the NLRB for our union election," the organisation wrote.

"We are deeply disappointed that Raven Software and Activision Blizzard refused to uplift workers rights by choosing to not voluntarily recognise our union in spite of our supermajority support. This was an opportunity for Activision Blizzard to show a real commitment setting new and improved standards for workers. Instead, Activision Blizzard has chosen to make a rushed restructuring announcement to try and hinder our right to organise.

"Once again, when management is given a choice, they always seem to take the low road. However, we are proud to file with the NLRB as we enjoy supermajority support for our union and know that together, we will gain the formal legal recognition we have earned."

GWA gave Activision Blizzard until 6pm EST on Tuesday, January 25th to recognise the union. The Washington Post has reported that the Call of Duty's management has opted to not do so.

In an email to staff after the deadline passed, Raven studio head Brian Raffell confirmed that negotiations were not successful between the Communication Workers of America union and Activision Blizzard.

"[We] expect that the union will soon be moving forward with the filing of a petition to the NLRB for an election of eligible Raven employees. If filed, the company will respond formally to that petition promptly," he wrote.

"The most important thing to the company is that each eligible employee has the opportunity to have their voice heard and their individual vote counted, and we think all employees at Raven should have a say in this decision."

Raven staff halted a strike ahead of union recognition


PCGamesInsider Contributing Editor

Alex Calvin is a freelance journalist who writes about the business of games. He started out at UK trade paper MCV in 2013 and left as deputy editor over three years later. In June 2017, he joined Steel Media as the editor for new site In October 2019 he left this full-time position at the company but still contributes to the site on a daily basis. He has also written for, VGC, Games London, The Observer/Guardian and Esquire UK.