With a union forming, the Raven QA strike is ending

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With quality assurance workers at Raven Software preparing to unionise, the Activision Blizzard staff who have gone on strike to help secure better treatment for the team are looking to end the strike. The strike started on December 9th following surprise layoffs at the Call Of Duty: Warzone studio’s QA department, with some other teams and Actiblizz people supporting them. Unused cash raised for a strike fund will be saved for future efforts.

Raven QA workers announced on Friday that a majority of the team support unionisation, and will form a group called the Game Workers Alliance under the Communication Workers of American union. They’ve called for management to voluntarily recognise the union by Tuesday, and if not will go through the National Labor Board to get it started the hard way.

“Pending the recognition of our union, the Raven QA strike has ended,” tweeted the ABK Workers Alliance over the weekend. Also known as ABetterABK, they’re a profilic group of Activision Blizzard employees who have led many efforts to demand changes over the past year. Their activities included starting a fund on GoFundMe to support striking workers, which has raised $376,593 (£278k). They say that once this strike ends, unused funds “are being stored for future organising/strike efforts.”

Everything’s not settled with the strike just yet, mind. In a follow-up tweet, the ABK Workers Alliance clarified, “we have asked to be recognized under GWA, *pending* refers to pending response from leadership. Either positive or negative. We are acting in good faith and asking for good faith.”

For more on what drove Raven QA to unionise, check out their letter to Activision Blizzard leadership.

God, for a minute I forgot about the other big news: that Microsoft are buying Activision Blizzard for $69 billion (£50b). Should shareholders and authorities approve, they’ll open up their wallet and slap down a nice number of billions in an all-cash deal. Picking up 10,000 employees, two handfuls of studios, and several ongoing scandals about working conditions, Microsoft also plan to bring Actiblizz games to Game Pass and mine nostalgia.

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