Video game employees at game publisher Activision Blizzard are waiting to find out if they formed the first union in a major US video game company.
Monday’s ballot count will reveal election results affecting a small group of Wisconsin-based quality assurance testers at Activision Blizzard’s Raven Software, which is developing the popular game franchise Call of Duty.
The campaign to unite employees at Raven’s Middleton, Wisconsin office is part of a larger internal change at Activision Blizzard, based in Santa Monica, California, a gaming giant with about 10,000 employees worldwide.
The game publisher, which Microsoft is in the process of buying for nearly $ 69 billion, has been criticized by the government and some shareholders and recently filed a federal civil rights lawsuit alleging that management ignores sexual harassment and workplace discrimination against employees.
Microsoft has said it will not intervene in any union efforts.
The Milwaukee National Labor Council office is due to count the mail sent in the mail on Monday afternoon. The NLRB’s regional director called elections in May after rejecting Activision’s insistence that it cover a wider category of Raven workers – which could blur the union’s vote.
Activision Blizzard said in a statement Monday that it respects workers’ right to vote for a union, but criticizes the way those workers have been classified.
“We believe that an important decision that will affect the entire Raven Software studio of around 350 employees should not be made by less than 10% of Raven employees,” the company said.
Interest in organized labor increased during the pandemic, fueling historical trade union movements in companies like Starbucks, Amazon and Apple. These efforts come amid labor shortages across the country and a record number of Americans quit their jobsproviding greater influence to workers who want to unite.