US union the Communication Workers of America (CWA) has celebrated Microsoft's massive acquisition of Activision Blizzard.
In a release to press, the organisation said that the deal represented an important milestone in labour relations within the video games industry. This goes back to a neutrality agreement the CWA made with Microsoft in 2022, meaning that the Xbox giant would not try to dissuade Activision Blizzard workers from unionising.
Though the agreement only pertained to Activision Blizzard staff, Microsoft appears to have a laid-back approach to unionisation, shown in the fact that ZeniMax Media formed a bargaining unit last year.
“It is a new day for workers at Activision Blizzard,” CWA president Claude Cummings Jr said.
“Over two years ago, workers at Activision Blizzard’s studios captured the country’s attention through walkouts and other protests over discrimination, sexual harassment, pay inequity, and other issues they were facing on the job. Their efforts to form unions were met with illegal retaliation and attempts to delay and block union elections. Now these workers are free to join our union through a fair process, without interference from management. Microsoft’s high-road approach should be the norm across the industry.”
In a post on Microsoft's website, the company's president Brad Smith pledged continued commitment to its agreement with the CWA.
"Now, more than sixteen months later, as Microsoft has closed its transaction to acquire Activision Blizzard, we affirm our commitment to our labour principles and innovative approach to union partnerships," he wrote.
"Microsoft remains steadfast in our support of our current and future employees in whatever choice they make about their workplace and their representatives. We look forward to meeting, listening to and learning from our new Activision Blizzard employees and continuing our collaborative engagement with CWA and the workers it represents."