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Activision Blizzard refuses to acknowledge Proletariat union

Proletariat Workers Alliance already has the support it needs, but company wants employees to have "time to process it and to better understand its potential impacts"

Activision Blizzard is refusing to voluntarily acknowledge an employee union at its Proletariat Games studio, as revealed in a note posted to the Proletariat Games blog yesterday and signed by "The Proletariat Leadership Team."

The company said it began the process to have a formal vote conducted with the National Labor Relations Board, stating that many of its employees would prefer to weigh in on the subject through an anonymous process.

"Besides being the fairest option, this also allows employees to get all the information and various points of view," the company said. "This is an important decision, everyone deserves some time to process it and to better understand its potential impacts.

"The Proletariat leadership is and has always been pro-worker."

In its own response statement, the Communication Workers of America union working with Proletariat employees to form the union disagreed.

"Our Proletariat leadership and upper management at Activision have refused our requests to talk about neutrality and are forcing us through an NLRB election, even though a supermajority of our bargaining unit have signed union cards, and that is not pro-worker.

"Their actions this week have been right out of the union-busting playbook used by Activision and so many others."

The Proletariat employees first announced their intent to organize late last month.

Last year saw QA teams at Activision Blizzard's Raven Software and Blizzard Albany studios form unions, and in both cases the publisher made them go through the formal voting process rather than acknowledge the unions.

Last week, Activision Blizzard parent-in-waiting Microsoft has voluntarily acknowledged a QA union across its Zenimax studios as part of a labor neutrality agreement it struck with the CWA last June in order to get the union to drop its objection to the Activision Blizzard acquisition.

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Brendan Sinclair avatar

Brendan Sinclair

Managing Editor

Brendan joined GamesIndustry.biz in 2012. Based in Toronto, Ontario, he was previously senior news editor at GameSpot in the US.