Before Activision Blizzard acquired Spellbreak maker Proletariat for support on World of Warcraft development this year, members of the Boston-based studio had discussed ways to "protect [their] great culture," knowing "Activision Blizzard's reputation for creating a hostile work environment."
Months later, Proletariat announced today the filing for a union election with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) while in affiliation with the Communications Workers of America (CWA), aiming to maintain their "progressive, human-first" benefits.
With this announcement, Proletariat becomes the third Activision Blizzard studio seeking to unionize in 2022, following the Raven Software and Blizzard Albany campaigns. It will also be the first to include all non-management workers at their studio. We've seen the rise of quality assurance workers seeking better terms at those studios, but for Proletariat, the studio has a much wider spread of disciplines wanting to unionize.
We are excited to announce that the workers of Proletariat have asked management to voluntarily recognize our union, the Proletariat Workers Alliance. 1/14 pic.twitter.com/JtYTCvJT5X
— Proletariat Workers Alliance (CWA) (@WeArePWA_CWA) December 27, 2022
A supermajority of 57 workers at the studio wants to form the Proletariat Workers Alliance, including animators, game designers, producers, quality assurance workers, and software engineers.
"By forming a union and negotiating a contract, we can make sure that we are able to continue doing our best work and create innovative experiences at the frontier of game development," stated Software Engineer Dustin Yost at Proletariat.
"We want management to respect our ideals and our commitment to improving our company and our industry," said Robbie Russell, a Senior Test Analyst II at Proletariat. "A union gives us a seat at the table and will help us create the conditions that will allow us to build careers here and not hop from job to job hoping that things will be better at the next place. Nothing will get better unless we work together to make it better."
The group desires a flexible paid time off policy, robust healthcare options, protection from project crunch, for management to commit to a no-mandatory overtime policy, and better pay and health protections for workers who agree to voluntary overtime in the proposed contract.
The Proletariat Workers Alliance has asked Activision Blizzard to recognize their union voluntarily, but the group has yet to receive a response from the company.
under investigation by the state of California for serious harassment charges. CEO Bobby Kotick is alleged to have known about such actions within his company – and performed some himself – and shielded the perpetrators from consequences.Activision Blizzard is still
About the Author
Anthony Jones is a gaming journalist and late 90s kid in love with retro games and the evolution of modern gaming. He started at Mega Visions as a news reporter covering the latest announcements, rumors, and fan-made projects. FFXIV has his heart in the MMORPGs scene, but he's always excited to analyze and lose hours to ambitious and ambiguous MMOs that gamers follow.
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