Proletariat, the studio working on World of Warcraft owned by Activision Blizzard, has withdrawn its request to form a union, following “oppositional tactics” from both the parent company and the current CEO.
As reported by GamesIndustry.biz, Communications Workers of America, came to the decision after realizing that Activision Blizzard was making it “impossible” to conduct “fair and free elections.” Proletariat CEO Seth Shivak, influenced by Activision Blizzard’s anti-union stance, began hosting meetings to “de-moralize and neutralize the group,” according to union representatives.
“Unfortunately, proletariat CEO Seth Shivak chose to succeed Activision Blizzard, responding to workers’ wishes to form a union with counter-tactics,” union representatives said. Told. “Like many of its founders, he viewed workers’ concerns as personal attacks, held a series of meetings that demoralized and disempowered the group, and made free and fair elections impossible.
“As seen in Microsoft’s Zenimax studio, there is another way to empower workers through a free and fair process without intimidation or manipulation by employers. keep asking for a voice. ”
Activision Blizzard acquired Proletariat last summer It helps satisfy players’ “ravenous appetite” for new World of Warcraft content. Following the deal, CEO Bobby Kotick said he plans to hire “hundreds” more developers over the next two years to “serve the needs” of the WoW player base. was intended to be fully integrated with Activision Blizzard.
Shortly after the takeover, however, the proletariat announced its decision to unionize.Earlier this year, the studio announced the news after it was revealed that The leadership refused to voluntarily recognize labor unionization effortsInstead, leadership applied for a union vote through the National Labor Relations Board. They argued that it was fairer because employees could get “all the information and different perspectives”. It did not endorse , but “emerged from union-busting tactics used by Activision and many other companies.”
“We can decide for ourselves if we want a union.” Statement of the Union of Proletarian Workers read. “We don’t need management’s help. We need and deserve respect and neutrality. We want to do the right thing as a team and work with management without conflict.”
The League of Proletarian Workers is not the first union that Activision Blizzard has refused to recognize.Both quality assurance personnel raven software When Blizzard Albany They tried to get their union recognized by the leadership, but they only complied with the same demands to pass the National Labor Relations Commission. Both unions then held elections through his NLRB, eventually winning the right to unionize even though the parent company claimed that her QA workers at each studio were ineligible for unionization. Did.
It is unclear what the next move for the proletariat will be, but it is worth noting that Microsoft’s $69 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard clears legal hurdles, ultimately making it easier for in-house studios to form unions. this is, labor neutrality agreement Microsoft signed last year. This makes it easier for employees to get through unions.
update: Shortly after this article was published, a Blizzard spokesperson was contacted and issued a statement regarding Proletariat’s decision.
“We appreciate the CWA’s decision to unilaterally withdraw the petition in response to employee feedback,” the representative wrote. “As we have said, we welcomed the opportunity for each employee to express his or her preferences safely through a secret ballot.Our team of proletarians does an exceptional job every day. Be part of a great team and culture.”
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