On Monday, the Communication Workers of America, or CWA, and Microsoft announced a Labor Neutrality agreement. Microsoft is in the process of acquiring Activision-Blizzard, parent company of Raven Software in Middleton where workers just won a union vote for the Game Workers Alliance, a local of the CWA.
The agreement, which will apply to Activision Blizzard employees only after the close of Microsoft’s acquisition, requires Microsoft to take a neutral approach to employees organizing. Covered employees will be able to easily exercise their right to communicate with other employees and union representatives about union membership in a way that avoids business disruptions. Employees will be able to maintain confidentiality and privacy on their union membership if they wish. Finally, the agreement calls for the CWA and Microsoft to work together on disagreements and to go to arbitration if they cannot come to terms.
Microsoft announced in January its intention to purchase Activision Blizzard for $68.7 billion. This news came out just days before the workers at Raven publicly announced the formation of their union. As soon as Microsoft made its announcement, antitrust concerns arose about the potential acquisition. In April, the CWA filed comments with the Fair Trade Commission and the Department of Justice related to the acquisition, raising concerns about how it could allow the company to assert more control of labor markets and wages in addition to the company’s control over consumer prices due to its increased size. However, it appears that this new agreement has satisfied the CWA. In their press release on the agreement, the CWA says “The agreement addresses CWA’s previous concerns regarding the acquisition, and, as a result, we support its approval and look forward to working collaboratively with Microsoft after this deal closes.”
The acquisition of Activision Blizzard is currently slated for June 2023.
Reporting Courtesy of Scot McCullough
Image Courtesy of Colony of Gamers