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Tech is notorious against the union. Microsoft is taking a different approach – neutrality

The technology industry has long been opposed to unions – not because workers were not interested in planning, but because large corporations have always been interested in spending money to close unions.

Amazon, Googleand an apple all accused of dissolving the union last year alone, it was alleged that a lot of money had been spent on preventing staff from planning. This animosity extends beyond the video game industry, too. Both Activision Blizzard and Nintendo were indebted to the National Labor Relations Board which was opened in 2022, both companies accused of retaliating by organizing workers, among other complaints.

Microsoft, currently appealing to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) for approval to purchase the $ 68.7 Activision Blizzard, appears to be taking a different approach: neutrality. On Monday, Microsoft as well as American Communications Workers (CWA) jointly announced they had entered into a so-called labor neutrality agreement, which is a contract that Microsoft agrees in writing not to block union efforts. In the event that the Activision Blizzard agreement expires, the agreement will take effect 60 days after the acquisition closure. Build Microsoft Promotion made last week – that it will not disrupt the new Raven Software union.

First, Microsoft will take a neutral position in which employees in the agreement express interest in joining a union. Second, covered employees will be able to easily exercise their right to communicate with other employees and union representatives regarding union membership in a way that encourages information sharing and avoids business disruption. Third, workers will be able to access a new technology-supported and systematic process of choosing to join a union. Fourth, employees can keep the secret and the secret of that option if they wish. Fifth, if a dispute arises between CWA and Microsoft under an agreement, the two parties will immediately work together to reach an agreement and will resort to a speedy mediation process if they can. The agreement does not apply to Activision employees prior to the termination of employment.

Employees of Activision Blizzard at Raven Software have been on strike since 2021, following the publication of allegations of sexual harassment in the publisher. Raven Software QA workers went on strike in December after the company denied new QA team members new contracts. In the months that followed, Activision Blizzard was seen fighting for a union pushing every step of the way, leading to the May 2022 union vote, in which QA staff members Call of Duty: Warzone won the right to form a union nineteen out of three votes.

Following the vote of Raven Software QA, however, Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick he did he promises to recognize the union, but that is something the company is legally obliged to do under union law. Microsoft’s promise – now in writing – will successfully eradicate Activision Blizzard hatred. Microsoft President Brad Smith told the Washington Post that no Activision Blizzard or Kotick have been involved in the agreement, not that it will matter if the merger is over and the neutral agreement goes into effect.

“This agreement provides a way for Activision Blizzard employees to exercise their democratic rights to co-ordinate and negotiate jointly after the closure of Microsoft purchases and to establish a high-level roadmap for employers in the gaming industry,” CWA president Chris Shelton said in a news release. . “Microsoft’s binding obligations will provide employees with a seat at the table and ensure that the acquisition of Activision Blizzard benefits corporate employees and the wider video game labor market.”

Smith denied that the CWA agreement was an attempt to secure the integration of Microsoft’s Activision Blizzard through FTC regulators who opposed the trust, according to the Post.

Apart from Microsoft’s intentions, the company’s transition to a neutral stand against hatred is an important sign in both the technology and video games industries. At the very least, it will make the way to the organization easier for employees at Activision Blizzard under Microsoft, and it can be used to help Microsoft employees reach their agreement.

The feelings of the unions are changing in North America for all the many workers. Employees want to say how they are compensated and treated in their work. The past few years have been a milestone in construction to date. Prior to 2021, there were no unions developing video games in North America. There are three now – in Beast Breaker Vodeo Games developer, who voluntarily welcomed Vodeo Workers United in December and QA staff of Raven Software with the game Workers Alliance, both with CODE-CWA, and Dragon Age: Dread Wolf QA contractors at Keywords Studios and United Food and Commercial Workers Canada Union, Local No. 401.

There is still a lot of work to be done in consolidating the video game industry, but the staff – especially, the most vulnerable employees under the wage scale – are planning. And they are beginning to win moral victory and victory on paper.

Tech is notorious against the union. Microsoft is taking a different approach – neutrality

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