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Quality Assurance workers at Activision establish the largest certified union in the US video game industry with CWA

Microsoft has recognized Activision Central Quality Assurance workers who joined CWA. A neutral arbitrator confirmed that a majority of workers either signed a union authorization card or indicated they wanted union representation via an online portal. The workers are the first to organize at Activision under the labor neutrality agreement between CWA and Microsoft, which took effect upon completing the acquisition of Activision Blizzard.

“My coworkers and I are excited to announce our union today as members of Activision Quality Assurance United-CWA. We wanted to see improvements in the workplace, including higher wages and getting more career opportunities, and so were eager to unionize.” said Kara Fannon, Functional QA Tester 1 and member of Activision Quality Assurance United-CWA.

“Quality Assurance roles are described as a way to get your foot in the door in the video game industry, but the truth is, at best, we get the internal job posting before the public does. We’re ready to grow our careers here and believe that having a strong union contract will set workers and the company up for success.” 

With approximately 600 members, Activision Quality Assurance United-CWA is the largest group of union-represented workers at any US game studio. The workers are located in California, Texas, and Minnesota. Over 1,000 video game workers at Microsoft now have union representation with CWA.

“Microsoft continues to keep its commitment to let workers decide for themselves whether they want a union,” said CWA President Claude Cummings Jr. “Time and again, other big companies in the industry have made the decision to undermine and attack their own employees when they join together to form a union. Microsoft's choice will strengthen its corporate culture and ability to serve its customers and should serve as a model for the industry.”

Last year, quality assurance workers at Microsoft’s ZeniMax studios joined ZeniMax Workers United/CWA. Microsoft also remained neutral during that organizing effort and recognized the union under a similar process. ZeniMax workers are negotiating their first contract and have reached groundbreaking agreements on subcontracting and artificial intelligence.

“As members of Activision Quality Assurance United-CWA, we’re showing what is possible when workers are able to freely organize,” said Tom Shelley, Technical Requirement Specialist and member of Activision Quality Assurance United-CWA. “As individual workers, there is only so much positive change we can create. We all want to build long-term, sustainable careers in this industry, and having a seat at the table as a union will allow us to work together collectively to make a better workplace.” 

Activision Quality Assurance United-CWA joins the wave of game workers at Raven Software, ZeniMax, Blizzard Albany, SEGA, TCGPlayer/eBay, and more who have organized with CODE-CWA to build a better workplace. The workers will join CWA Locals 9400 (California), 6215 (Texas), and 7250 (Minnesota).


Quality Assurance workers at Activision establish the largest certified union in the US video game industry with CWA (CWA, Mar. 8, 2024)

ZeniMax Workers United-CWA collective bargaining yields first-of-its-kind tentative agreement with Microsoft over use of AI in the workplace (Speed Matters, Jan. 24, 2024)