Microsoft wont “stand in the way” of an Activision Blizzard union

Microsoft has no plans to prevent an Activation Blizzard union.

As reported by The Washington Post (opens in new tab), Microsoft’s corporate vice president and general counsel, Lisa Tanzi, has clarified the company’s stance on a potential Activision Blizzard union. Microsoft “will not stand in the way”, Tanzi tells The Post.

“Microsoft respects Activision Blizzard employees’ right to choose whether to be represented by a labor organization and we will honor those decisions,” Tanzi says.

In January, Microsoft announced plans to buy Activision Blizzard for a staggering $68.7 billion. The deal is expected to be completed in 2023, whereby Xbox will own all Activision Blizzard franchises, including major series such as Call of Duty and World of Warcraft.

In a letter, fifteen employees from Raven Software, developer of Call of Duty: Warzone, have asked that Microsoft encourage Activision Blizzard to voluntarily recognize their union, the Game Workers Alliance. The letter also criticizes Reed Smith, a law firm hired by Activision Blizzard, for sharing anti-union material on its website.

“I hope that you will agree that this demeaning and insulting approach to employees who are seeking to improve their workplace should not be tolerated,” the letter says.

Earlier this year, Call of Duty: Warzone QA testers ended their strike after nearly eight weeks, pending recognition of their union.

The tech giant’s costly takeover hasn’t been plain sailing so far, with insider trading investigations and shareholder lawsuits threatening to hinder Microsoft’s Activision Blizzard acquisition. Meanwhile, a Judge has signalled plans to approve Activision Blizzard’s $18m harassment settlement.

With Microsoft’s latest acquisition deal set to close next year, we investigate what it could mean for Activision Blizzard and Xbox Game Studios.

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