Microsoft

The CWA, a major video game union, has asked regulators to approve Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision.

The CWA wrote to the commission’s executive vice president in support of the merger.

 

The Communication Workers of America, a major video game labour union, has encouraged the European Commission to accept the upcoming Microsoft-Activision merger. Representatives of the union wrote to Margrethe Vestager, executive vice president of the European Commission, ahead of the commission’s closed-door discussion on the merger in Brussels.

 

The letter suggested that the merger will improve labour organisation inside the industry. Activision Blizzard has been accused of having a sexist and racist culture, following a lawsuit filed by the state of California. Unionization initiatives developed across several of the big publisher’s many studios as the litigation progressed. Blizzard Albany and Raven Software employees successfully organised unions.

 

Union members, on the other hand, claimed to have encountered company-created impediments both before and after the unionisation process. Furthermore, the ironically called Proletariat’s unionisation efforts were thwarted after Activision Blizzard allegedly used strong anti-union methods, such as conducting meetings with the goal of demoralising staff.

 

Meanwhile, Microsoft has guaranteed to the CWA union neutrality, ensuring that after the merger is completed, workers would be able to organise as required by law. Microsoft also acknowledged the recently formed ZeniMax union.

 

In the letter, CWA President Chris Shelton claimed that the union could act as a stopgap against the increased employer power caused by a merger. “When Microsoft announced its acquisition, we investigated the implications for labour markets and voiced concerns about the possibility for increasing employer dominance over workers, which might worsen labour monopsony, leading to lower salaries and less negotiating leverage over working conditions,” he said.

 

“We were able to initiate a dialogue with Microsoft after raising those concerns, which resulted in an agreement to assure Activision Blizzard employees have a clear path to collective bargaining if the merger is consummated. Microsoft’s legally obligatory obligations will ensure that the acquisition of Activision Blizzard benefits both the company’s employees and the broader video game labour market. Collective bargaining is an effective counterbalance to employer dominance in the labour market, as empirical study has shown.”

 

The CWA’s news statement on the letter underscored the sometimes-limited organising power of US workers. Employees in various industries who are involved in unionisation attempts are supposedly sacked for participating, with no repercussions for the corporations involved.

 

“With the clear pathway to enforceable behavioural remedies for potential consumer harms established by the European Commission and other regulators, we hope you will approve this transaction and help make history in rebalancing power in labour markets,” Shelton said.

 

The union’s continued support for the merger adds another wrinkle to the already troubled process. The Federal Trade Commission is presently suing Microsoft to stop the merger. Microsoft has just announced a partnership with Nintendo to bring Call of Duty on Nintendo devices.

 

Our editors choose the products discussed here on their own. If you buy anything featured on our site, GameSpot may receive a portion of the proceeds.

 

Total
0
Shares