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Blizzard Albany QA testers win their fight for union vote

Activision Blizzard had argued to prevent it

QA testers at Blizzard Albany have won the right to vote on whether to form a union. The decision comes after arguments were made to the US National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). The employees, organising under the name GWA Albany, tweeted that the vote would take place a month from today.

"We are thrilled to announce that the NLRB ruled in our favor to have an election of Albany QA testers at Blizzard. With 94% committed to winning the union, we look forward to counting ballots a month from today," says the tweet.

21 quality assurance employees at Blizzard Albany - formerly known as Vicarious Visions - will have a right to vote in the union election.

Parent company Activision Blizzard had argued that all 88 Blizzard Albany employees should get to vote on the union. This is the same argument Activision Blizzard deployed unsuccessfully earlier this year when Raven Software's QA testers were similarly fighting to form a union. Including more employees in the voting process, including those employees who would not be a member of and therefore would not benefit from the union, would in theory decrease the chance of the vote being successful.

Bloomberg report that Activision Blizzard also argued that QA testers who work on different games should not be in the same union. Of Blizzard Albany's testers, five work on Diablo 2 Resurrection, 15 work on Diablo 4, and one works on World Of Warcraft. The NLRB rejected this argument.

Raven Software's QA staff likewise won their fight to vote for their own union, and the vote was successful the following month.

Microsoft are currently in the process of trying to buy Activision Blizzard for $69 billion. Microsoft have said they won't block the results of employees' unionisation efforts within the publisher.

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Graham Smith

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