Its been more than a month since publisher Activision Blizzard fired 12 of Raven Software’s quality assurance testers despite previously promising them new contracts, and now current employees have officially announced their unionization with Communication Workers of America. Under this union, 34 members of the staff have formed a group known as Game Workers Alliance in the effort to be voluntarily recognized by the publisher.
“Quality Assurance is an essential part of any software development process. However, quality assurance testers are consistently undervalued, under-compensated, and overworked,” the group’s new Twitter account wrote Friday morning. In tweets that followed, the group points to several issues that they hope are resolved within the company before returning to work, such as the lack of a healthy work schedule, diversity, and transparency from leadership.
As the Washington Post reported, “several dozen” QA workers now look to continue their strike for a better work environment for a sixth consecutive week. The Communication Workers of America has previously noted the strike won’t end anytime soon, as it claims Activision Blizzard has only used “surveillance and intimidation tactics, including hiring notorious union busters” since the employees started to revolt.
Furthermore, CWA’s secretary-treasurer, Sara Steffens, has publicly asked Activision Blizzard to respect the Raven employees and pointed out that a collective bargaining agreement is in the best interest of both the workers represented and the quality of the developer’s games. Currently, that does appear to be the case, as Raven Software’s Call of Duty: Warzone Pacific has been scrutinized by fans for its lack of quality of life gameplay updates since the workers began striking. So much so, Raven announced the delay of the game’s next DLC in order to prioritize much-needed patches.