America’s communications workers have filed a lawsuit alleging unfair employment practices against Activision Blizzard, accusing the company of retaliating against workers for their union efforts. If you remember, the quality assurance workers at the Activision Raven Software studio announced their plans to merge in January. This is after Activision fired 12 of its QA performers, although Raven asked to keep them. Studio workers went on strike after the event, demanding that all performers be hired as full-time employees.

In its complaint to the National Labor Council, the CWA accused the company of violating federal law by firing those workers for QA. The group also pointed out that Activision reorganized the studio by disbanding the QA team and incorporating testers into other departments just days after they asked for the union’s recognition. Activision Blizzard also said it withheld wages and benefits in April in response to workers’ union efforts.

According to previous reports, the company also actively and strongly discourages workers from voting in favor of unionization. Union organizer Jessica Gonzalez revealed on Twitter back in January that QA’s Activision vice president Chris Arends posted a message on a locked Slack channel that reduced the benefits of unionization. “The union is doing nothing to help us produce world-class games, and the negotiation process is usually not fast, often reduces flexibility and can be hostile and lead to negative publicity,” Arends wrote.

A piece of The Washington Post he also said the company’s management had held city meetings to dissuade workers from organizing and sent emails with a “Please vote against” message. That effort failed, and the CWA won the Raven union election with 19 to 3 votes. Xbox boss Phil Spencer reportedly said before the vote that he would recognize the Raven union after Microsoft acquired the developer.

Game Workers Alliance / CWA Organizing Committee members Erin Hall, Lau Nebel-Malone and Marie Carroll said:

“The reorganization and withholding of salary increases and other benefits and the company’s failure to hire fired QA testers were clearly Activision’s attempts to intimidate us and interfere in our union elections in violation of National Labor Law.”

An activision spokesman, meanwhile, disputed the allegations in a statement sent to Bloomberg:

“We respect and believe in the right of all employees to decide whether to support or vote for a union, and revenge of any kind is not tolerated.”

According to the news organization, the complaints submitted to the NRB were investigated by regional services. If they are found to have merit and are not settled, they can be prosecuted by the agency’s attorney general.

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