Activision attempts to delay Blizzard Albany union vote

Activision attempts to delay Blizzard Albany union vote

Activision Blizzard and the Communications Workers of America (CWA) union have come to blows over the upcoming Blizzard Albany QA union vote.

As reported by, the Call of Duty publisher has filed a motion with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) to postpone the vote. To be specific, Activision Blizzard is asking the organisation to impound the ballots until it has heard its appeal for a previous NLRB decision.

The publisher wants the NLRB to reconsider its decision that the Blizzard Albany QA team could be a bargaining unit, arguing that the organisation has never dealt with the scope of a video game studio.

"We deeply respect our employees' right to choose whether to be represented by a union and to make an informed decision for themselves in a process where every voice is heard," an Activision Blizzard spokesperson said.

"Given the significant impact this decision could have for everyone on the Albany-based Diablo team and the tight integration of our operations there, we believe strongly that each of the 107 eligible employees deserves to have their votes counted, not just the 18 quality assurance testers who are important employees but make up a small fraction of the team. We are pursuing an appeal to the NLRB regarding its proposed bargaining unit, because companies as well as union organizers have the right to make their case."

CWA secretary-treasurer Sara Steffens added: "Sadly, it's no surprise that a company that has repeatedly tried to silence its employees, including by hiding reports of sexual violence, would want to muzzle workers' voices once again by trying to stop them from voting in a union election. Workers have concluded that they need to protect themselves from this abusive employer by joining together into a strong union.

"Instead of staying neutral, Activision's management continues to present the same failing arguments in a desperate attempt to interfere with workers' legal right to make their own decisions about forming a union and negotiating a collective bargaining agreement. It's clear the company's executives feel threatened by workers organising in New York, Wisconsin and across the country.

"We are confident in the NLRB's response to these frivolous requests, and we will continue to push for Activision Blizzard employees' right to organise without delay."

This reference to Activision management likely refers to the recent complaint the CWA filed against Activision for the anti-union messaging set out by its new comms boss, Lulu Cheng Meservey

The Blizzard Albany unionisation vote is set to take place on November 18th.

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.