Activision Blizzard announced today that it plans to convert a whopping 1,100 temporary or contract quality assurance testers to full-time positions. QA testers are also being given raises to at least $20 per hour. However, according to Bloomberg, those raises won’t be given to all employees. The members of Activision subsidiary Raven Software’s QA team that have unionized will be exempt from any wage increases.
Activision Blizzard PR sent out a blast to journalists this morning with the big news (featuring emails from studio heads) but did not mention that unionizing Raven QA testers are not part of it, which Bloomberg News learned shortly afterwards.
— Jason Schreier (@jasonschreier) April 7, 2022
According to an email sent by Activision Blizzard that was seen by Bloomberg, the company will not raise wages for Raven Software’s QA testers “due to our legal obligations under the National Labor Relations Act.” The decision will leave a sizable disparity in the company between its workers, some of whom will work full-time at lower wages than others.
It’s not likely that the unionized QA testers at Raven Software, the developer behind one of Activision Blizzard’s most successful titles, Call of Duty: Warzone will quietly accept the company’s decision. Digital Trends has reached out to a larger union that is working with Raven Software’s unionized QA testers, the Communications Workers of America, for comment and will update this article if we hear back.
Unionization efforts for Raven Software’s QA testers began this past December, when Activision Blizzard laid off half a dozen of its QA contractors, leaving the studio’s QA department with a third of its employees gone. In the time since Raven Software’s QA testers have formed a union that Activision Blizzard refused to voluntarily recognize. The company also decided to reorganize its QA department, spreading employees across multiple different departments rather than keeping them as one cohesive unit.
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