Quality Assurance workers at Raven Software, Call of Duty studio, have been given permission to conduct a union vote
The NLRB will send ballot papers to eligible employees — both full-time and part-time employees of Raven who were employed by the company during the pay period that ended April 16 — on April 29. Voters in that group must return their ballots by the May 20 closing. Votes will be counted via video conferencing on May 23.
In an email to employees, Raven Studio President Brian Ravel wrote that the company will host a town hall sometime next week to discuss the NLRB’s decision and “next steps.”
‘Scorched Earth’ and Big Profits: How beleaguered gaming tycoon Bobby Kotik beats his opponents
In a statement, Activision Blizzard said it will review more legal options, including a potential appeal.
“While we respect the NLRB process, we are disappointed that a decision that could significantly affect the future of the entire studio will be made by less than 10 percent of our employees,” Activision Blizzard spokesperson Rich George wrote in a statement to The Post. “We believe that a direct relationship with team members is the best way to achieve company and individual goals.”
The staff at Raven primarily work on games like “Call of Duty: Warzone” and Mainline, the annual release of Call of Duty titles. In December, Raven upgraded most of its Contract Quality Assurance staff to full-time employees; In the process, the company also laid off 12 contractors. In response, nearly 200 employees across Activision Blizzard joined a strike to protest the dismissals. In January, the remaining QA workers formed a union in response to the layoffs, asking management to voluntarily recognize the union.
The NLRB file, which includes a comprehensive summary of the facts of the case, notes that “QA testers are the employer’s lowest paid employees. [Raven]. Even the $18.50 wage increase that followed the promotion of workers to full-time employees “would put the vast majority of QA testers at $38,430 per year, well below the minimum salary range listed for any other position,” according to the report.
This is an evolving story.
Shannon Liao contributed to this report.