The Communications Workers of America, the guardian group of the Game Workers Alliance union, has entered right into a “labor neutrality agreement” with Microsoft over unionizing employees at Activision Blizzard. The “ground-breaking agreement,” which can take impact 60 days after Microsoft completes its acquisition of the studio, “reflects a fundamental belief by both organizations that enabling workers to freely and fairly make a choice about union representation will benefit Microsoft and its employees.”

The deal between Microsoft and the CWA is constructed round 5 “basic provisions”:

  • Microsoft will take a impartial strategy with Activision Blizzard workers who categorical curiosity in becoming a member of a union.
  • Employees coated by the settlement will have the ability to speak with one another and union representatives with out hassles or complications.
  • Employees can have entry to a streamlined course of for deciding whether or not or not they need to be part of a union.
  • Employees can select to maintain their resolution about whether or not or to not be part of a union confidential.
  • If there’s a disagreement between the CWA and Microsoft, they’ll negotiate “promptly” to resolve it, and move to “expedited arbitration” if they can not.

“This agreement provides a pathway for Activision Blizzard workers to exercise their democratic rights to organize and collectively bargain after the close of the Microsoft acquisition and establishes a high road framework for employers in the games industry,” CWA President Chris Shelton stated. 

“Microsoft’s binding commitments will give employees a seat at the table and ensure that the acquisition of Activision Blizzard benefits the company’s workers and the broader video game labor market. 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.”

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The settlement carries no official weight till the deal is closed, but it surely does clarify Activision Blizzard’s announcement final week that after months of resistance, it is going to acknowledge and enter into “good faith negotiations” with the newly-established QA employees union at Raven. Not lengthy after the employees voted to unionize, Xbox chief Phil Spencer stated Microsoft is not going to oppose unionization efforts if and when the acquisition of Activision Blizzard is accomplished; now it seems that Microsoft was actively negotiating the state of affairs with the CWA, and whereas the phrases of the deal is probably not official for a while but, the mere proven fact that it exists successfully locks present Activision Blizzard management into it.

“Earlier this month we announced a set of principles that will guide our approach to labor organizations, and the Activision Blizzard acquisition is our first opportunity to put these principles into practice,” Microsoft president and vice chair Brad Smith stated. “We appreciate CWA’s collaboration in reaching this agreement, and we see today’s partnership as an avenue to innovate and grow together.”

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Activision Blizzard shareholders lately authorized the proposed Microsoft buyout, but it surely nonetheless needs to be authorized by the US Federal Trade Commission, which isn’t essentially a positive factor.