Quality assurance workers at Activision Blizzard Albany (formerly Vicarious Visions in Albany, New York) voted 14-0 to approve becoming a unionized group (Game Workers Alliance Albany) within the company. Activision Blizzard had appealed the decision with the U.S. National Labor Relations Board in November, arguing that the vote should be studio-wide and not just include QA workers. The NLRB rejected that appeal.
Four other votes were cast, but were challenged by management because they weren’t submitted in time. Organizers claim they were delayed due to a number of issues including mail delays, but Activision Blizzard would not drop its challenges.
‘With this victory, we’re advocating for ourselves and each other because we care deeply about our work and the games we make,” Activision Blizzard Test Analyst Amanda Deep tells GameIndustry.biz in response to the ratification of the vote. “Organizing has empowered all of us to fight hard for the dignity and respect every worker deserves on the job… We can only hope that our win will continue to grow the labor movement at other video game studios across the country.”
Game Workers Alliance Albany joins QA workers at Activision Blizzard’s Raven Software in Wisconsin as the second officially unionized shop within the company’s ecosystem.
With the vote out of the way GWA Albany will begin negotiating a contract with management now with the protections provided to organized workers through U.S. labor laws.