Activision Blizzard studio drops its union vote, claiming ‘free and fair election impossible’

Proletariat began its push in December, but the process has worn workers thin.

Spellbreak

Audio player loading…

The Communications Workers of America (CWA) has dropped its request for a union vote at Activision Blizzard’s Proletariat studio after accusing CEO Seth Sivak of “making a free and fair election impossible”. In a statement released yesterday, the CWA accused Sivak of responding to the union push with “confrontational tactics” that “demoralized and disempowered the group,” so the vote won’t go ahead at all.

Dustin Yost, a software engineer at Proletariat and a member of the union organising committee, said in a statement that, although “the overwhelming majority” of his colleagues at the studio had signed cards in support of unionisation, the process “took its toll” on workers. Meetings in which the CWA claims Sivak “framed the conversation as a personal betrayal” apparently made the process too hard-going for employees to continue with.

Both Yost and the CWA negatively compared Proletariat to Microsoft Zenimax, asking why it was not possible for the Activision Blizzard-owned studio to “remain neutral, as Microsoft did at Zenimax” and allow “a free and fair process, without intimidation or manipulation by the employer”.

I’ve reached out to Proletariat to get its comments on the CWA’s claims, and I’ll update this article if I hear back.

Proletariat is Activision’s first win in a union struggle in some time. The company lost two struggles at Raven and Blizzard Albany (opens in new tab) last year, with workers at both studios pushing for—and winning—votes to unionise despite Activision’s best efforts. The company probably hopes that the failure of the Proletariat vote to get off the ground marks the point where 2022’s wave of unionisations (opens in new tab) will break and roll back. I suspect Activision won’t be so lucky.

Concluding his statement, Yost said that while the CWA was “withdrawing [its] union election petition today,” he still believes that “a union is the best way for workers in our industry to ensure [their] voices are being heard”. Proletariat, after all, has nothing to lose but its chains.

Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *