Workers At Blizzard Support Studio Proletariat Aim To Unionize

“By forming a union and negotiating a contract, we can make sure that we are able to continue doing our best work and create innovative experiences at the frontier of game development.”

Workers At Blizzard Support Studio Proletariat Aim To Unionize - RAVZGADGET
Workers At Blizzard Support Studio Proletariat Aim To Unionize.

Workers at Proletariat, a Boston-based studio purchased by Blizzard earlier this year to support World of Warcraft development, announced on Tuesday that they have filed for a union election with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).

Proletariat is the third Activision Blizzard studio to announce a union drive in 2022, but unlike previous campaigns at Raven Software and Blizzard Albany, the effort at Proletariat includes all non-management employees.

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Animators, game designers, and software engineers are among the 57 workers who want to form the Proletariat Workers Alliance. The group is seeking representation from the Communications Workers of America (CWA), the union that assisted Raven Software and Blizzard Albany QA employees in organizing.

“Everyone in the video game industry knows Activision Blizzard’s reputation for creating a hostile work environment, so earlier this year, when we heard that Blizzard was planning to acquire Proletariat, we started to discuss how we could protect the great culture we have created here,” said Dustin Yost, a software engineer at Proletariat.

“By forming a union and negotiating a contract, we can make sure that we are able to continue doing our best work and create innovative experiences at the frontier of game development.”

The Proletariat Workers Alliance asked Activision Blizzard to recognize their union voluntarily. “Our top priority remains our employees and we continue to believe a direct relationship with them is the most productive,” an Activision Blizzard spokesperson said.

“We value the contributions the talented Proletariat team has made since joining our company this summer. We’ve received the petition, and will be providing a formal public response to the NLRB in the coming days.”

Proletariat employees say they want to keep the studio’s “progressive, human-first” benefits, such as its flexible paid time off policy and robust healthcare options. They also want to protect the studio from crunch, which is the practice of forcing mandatory overtime during the development of a game.

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They want management to commit to a no-mandatory overtime policy and to improve pay and health benefits for employees who agree to voluntary overtime. According to the Proletariat Workers Alliance, their coworkers should not be penalized during performance reviews for not doing extra work.

Following the completion of its $68.7 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard, Microsoft announced in June that it would respect all unionization efforts at the publisher. The FTC sued the tech behemoth earlier this month to prevent the merger.

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