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CWA files Unfair Labor Practice charges against Microsoft supplier Lionbridge

Former employee accuses third party QA firm used by Activision of violating rights of coworkers

The Communications Workers of America has filed Unfair Labor Practice charges against Lionbridge Technologies, which Microsoft has been working with as a QA contractor on Activision projects.

The CWA issued the notion with the National Relations Board (NLRB), in which it alleged that Lionbridge violated the rights of its Boise, Idaho team.

The filing claimed that Lionbridge laid off the entire team after workers had engaged in collective action about their working conditions.

In addition, it accused the QA firm of offering severance packages with "overly broad confidentiality terms" which allegedly involved staff having to waive labour law rights which are protected by the National Labour Relations Act.

The filing also claimed workers were told the layoffs were the result of a project ending. However, the CWA noted that teams working on said project in Mexico and Poland were not let go.

The CWA also alleged that Lionbridge had previously engaged in union busting in 2016 when it laid off all union employees in Bellevue, Washington, shortly after a group of temporary workers signed their first union contract.

In 2022, Microsoft and the CWA entered a labour neutrality agreement that consisted of provisions to protect employees' rights to unionise and to communicate with each other.

The CWA said it expects Microsoft to extend this labour agreement to its contractors.

About the Unfair Labour Practice charges, former Lionbridge test associate Al Bussabarger commented: "We brought our concerns to management and organised with our coworkers to improve our working conditions. In response to these complaints, Lionbridge chose to lay off our entire team, in violation of our rights as coworkers.

"We do much the same work that union-represented Activision QA employees do, and Microsoft should make sure that everyone working on its games is treated with respect in line with its labour practices, including employees of contractors."

In 2023, Microsoft confirmed it would honour its labour neutrality agreement with the CWA following its acquisition of Activision. Last month, the CWA announced that ZeniMax staff were covered by the same agreement. has reached out to Activision for comment.

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Sophie McEvoy avatar
Sophie McEvoy: Sophie McEvoy is a Staff Writer at She is based in Hampshire and has been a gaming & entertainment journalist since 2018.
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