Raven QA strike ends, at least for now

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

In parallel with the ongoing controversy (opens in new tab) 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 (opens in new tab) 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 (opens in new tab)of Raven QA. 

A Better ABK was quick to clarify (opens in new tab) 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. 

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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 (opens in new tab) 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 (opens in new tab). It's unclear how the merger will change the corporation's managerial practices or impact the unionization effort.

Associate Editor

Ted has been thinking about PC games and bothering anyone who would listen with his thoughts on them ever since he booted up his sister's copy of Neverwinter Nights on the family computer. He is obsessed with all things CRPG and CRPG-adjacent, but has also covered esports, modding, and rare game collecting. When he's not playing or writing about games, you can find Ted lifting weights on his back porch.