Diablo designers say Activision is back to its old Union hacking tricks

Diablo designers say Activision is back to its old Union hacking tricks

Diablo designers say Activision is back to its old Union hacking tricks

Lilith from Diablo IV prepares to plead her case to the NLRB.

picture: Blizzard

Almost two months after Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotik announced that the company would finally begin negotiating its first union contract with it. Game Workers Alliance at Raven SoftwareThe Blizzard Albany team is currently working on Diablo IVIt is said that the publisher returned to try to break up the union. They accuse Activision Blizzard of rehiring law firm Reed Smith to undermine their organizational efforts, not that Voluntary recognition of the second union of the company.

“Instead of following Microsoft’s approach and sticking to a labor neutrality agreement, Activision made the clear and conscious decision to strip us of our basic labor rights while once again wasting hundreds of thousands of dollars on a company that preaches unions,” the Albany Game Workers Alliance. , which regulates things like improving wages, health care and work-life balance, wrote in a press release on Wednesday. The group claims that Activision Blizzard is re-asking for help from Reed Smith, an organization that provides “avoid attachment“Services, in a ‘vain effort’ to ‘delay recognition’.” As workers said, Reed Smith intends to push the National Labor Relations Board to deny unionization rights to the individual quality assurance group.

When asked to respond, The sense of mission publisher He didn’t say why law firm Reed Smith was being rehired or how much it was paying, but she did confirm she would push again for a studio-wide vote on the incorporation. “Given the significant impact this change could have on the approximately 150 people in Albany (formerly Vicarious Visions), we believe that every Albany employee working at Diablo should have a direct say in this decision; This should not be done by less than 15% of employees,” company spokesperson Rich George wrote in an emailed statement.

And she continued:

The Albany-based team is an integrated group that shares a focus on the game franchise itself and works on related game features and functionality. These employees share great commonalities in their work, and maintaining cohesion during the complex development and production process of the game is essential.

A screenshot of an old Reed Smith presentation previews tactics for discouraging unionization.

Screenshot: Reed Smith

This is the The same operating book issued by the company last time When Raven Software first sought incorporation. First, it integrated the QA team directly into other disciplines within the broader studio, and later argued that for this and other reasons, the entire studio should vote for a syndicate rather than those in QA who already overwhelmingly supported it. Ultimately, the National Action Council sided with the workers, but it still delayed action for months.

Meanwhile, Activision Blizzard has worked with Reed Smith International She bragged on her website at the time To help companies avoid and fight unions. She even saved a PowerPoint presentation On his website Which included slides on how unions are trying to do this Take advantage of lazy workers and strategies to convince workers that unions are a bad idea. This presentation has since been deleted.

Activision Blizzard’s battle against the merger is renewed just two months after Microsoft, which is now poised to acquire it for $69 billion, announced that it would remain “neutral” The guild’s efforts must move forward. Part of a campaign to win regulatory approval for the largest tech acquisition in history, it looked like it might point to new evidence for Activision as well. Mostly not. The transaction is expected to close before June 2023.

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