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Raven QA strike ends, at least for now

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Following the formation of a new union by Raven Software QA workers last week, the established employee advocacy group at Activision-Blizzard, A Better ABK, has announced the end of Raven QA’s nearly two month-long strike, at least for the time being.

In parallel with the ongoing controversy over endemic sexual harassment at multiple Activision-Blizzard studios, Quality Assurance workers at Raven Software, developers of Call of Duty: Warzone, walked off the job late last year in response to surprise layoffs in the division despite Warzone’s continued success and profitability. Their dispute has become part of the wider struggle with upper management at the embattled corporation, with workers at other studios striking in support of Raven QA. 

A Better ABK was quick to clarify that this move was a gesture of good faith pending Activision-Blizzard’s own accommodation of the union, the Game Workers Alliance. GWA already has a deadline of January 25 in place for Activision-Blizzard’s voluntary recognition, after which they intend to file for election with the National Labor Relations Board, escalating the process and forcing recognition in the event of a successful election. 

Please no not misquote here media: we have asked to be recognized under GWA, *pending* refers to pending response from leadership. Either positive or negative. We are acting in good faith and asking for good faith. https://t.co/H8dOjsaXjOJanuary 23, 2022

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It’s unclear if A Better ABK and GWA intend to reinstate the strike immediately if Activision-Blizzard does not meet their deadline, but they do seem to be reserving the right for future labor action. Activision-Blizzard management has thus far been dismissive of the effort and resistant to the idea of collaboration.

Activison-Blizzard’s story took yet another turn recently with their surprise acquisition by Microsoft. It’s unclear how the merger will change the corporation’s managerial practices or impact the unionization effort.

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