A new ABK union sees Microsoft as an example of unionization |  Xbox One

A new ABK union sees Microsoft as an example of unionization | Xbox One

As you may have realized, there is no winter truce for the case of the takeover of Actvision Blizzard by Microsoft. On December 24, Sony informed us that Xbox Game Pass wasn’t a threat. The day before, the Microsoft group dismantled the arguments raised by the FTC in their legal action. Today, it is a new union from an ABK studio that is talking about it, taking the Redmond firm as an example.

The Proletariat Inc. studio organizes and lines up behind the Redmond firm

Proletariat is a studio founded in 2012 by former members of Zynga and acquired on July 1 by Activision Blizzard. After having created original games such as Spellbreak or Streamline, the capacities and skills of the Proletariat teams have notably been allocated to World of Warcraft and the Dragonflight expansion in 2022.

The studio is therefore making headlines at the end of the year since it is in the process of unionizing with the Communication Workers of America (CWA). The announcement was made yesterday by the 57 members of the studio, from members of the studio’s quality assurance team to engineers. This union would be the third in the ABK group after the first two were founded this year: the Game Workers Alliance in May 2022 and the Blizzard Albany testers union in July 2022.

The demands of the new Proletariat union are diverse and concern in particular a more flexible policy for paid holidays, more transparency through clearer communication, better opportunities, but also the relationship of large groups to unions.

Indeed, the unions recently created at Raven Software and Blizzard Albany did not have an easy time when they were created, since the administration of the ABK group has several times sought to put obstacles in the way of employees seeking to unionize. Sara Steffens, CWA Secretary-Treasurer, explains this in particular :

“Activision management’s attempts to prevent its workers from joining a union have not only been a waste of time and money, they have caused further damage to morale and underlined the company’s reputation. create a toxic and hostile work environment.

Microsoft has shown that even America’s largest companies can choose a different path and allow workers to choose freely and fairly whether or not they want union representation. It’s not too late for Activision executives to change course and begin to repair the company’s public image and relationship with their workers by recognizing the Proletariat workers’ union and committing to a commitment. productive at the negotiating table.”

Indeed, Microsoft had committed earlier in the year to remain neutral in all unionization initiatives carried out within the group’s studios and this was confirmed by the creation of the first union in the video game sector in the group’s history. Microsoft and the largest in the USA, that of ZeniMax employees. 300 Bethesda Softworks employees were able to begin this unionization process unhindered.

In all this slump encompassing the takeover of ABK by Microsoft, the employees of the two firms secure their rights and their positions by joining together in a union, which remains a fairly rare phenomenon in the United States and in particular in the video game sector. Be that as it may, Microsoft is indeed an example in this area. We will see if this lasts and if ABK takes example from its possible new owner.