300 ZeniMax QA staff voting on unionisation

300 ZeniMax QA staff voting on unionisation

Workers at Microsoft-owned ZeniMax Media are voting on whether to form a union.

Around 300 members of quality assurance staff across both Maryland and Texas are being balloted on whether or not to create a bargaining unit at the company.

Unlike recent votes at Activision Blizzard, this does not involve the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) due to the fact that Microsoft signed a neutrality agreement with the Communications Workers of America (CWA), in which it said it would not stand in the way of staff unionising.

ZeniMax Media was bought by Microsoft last year for $7.5 billion. This division includes Bethesda Softworks, Id Software and ZeniMax Online.

“When workers have the opportunity to join a union without company interference, it empowers them to have their voices heard in the workplace,” CWA president Christopher Shelton said.

“We are glad to support ZeniMax quality assurance workers as they join the growing video game labor movement in the U.S. These workers are making history, joining the wave of game and tech workers at Activision, Alphabet, and dozens of other companies who have organized with CODE-CWA to build a better workplace.”

A Microsoft spokesperson told Polygon: “The recent organizing efforts of ZeniMax employees, and Microsoft and ZeniMax’s neutrality toward this, are an example of our labour principles in action,” “We remain committed to providing employees with an opportunity to freely and fairly make choices about their workplace representation.”

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.