Activision Blizzard informed its staff that 1,100 quality assurance testers will be moved to full-time employees and will be paid at least $20 an hour, according to Bloomberg reporter Jason Schreier.
The changes are seen as a significant victory for Activision Blizzard employees, who have been organizing strikes and a union since December. Leadership sent out an anti-union email in response, but employees continued to organize and coordinate for better working conditions. The pay changes, however, won’t apply to the Raven QA workers trying to unionize due to “legal obligations under the National Labor Relations Act,” according to Bloomberg.
Last month, several Raven Software employees, a studio owned by Activision Blizzard, requested the organization to recognize their union, the Game Workers Alliance, as the organization failed to recognize the union by the established deadline. Activision Blizzard confirmed it would recognize the union if it was filed with the National Labor Relations Board. If the majority of employees voted to ratify the union, the parent organization would be forced to bargain and cooperate. Microsoft, which recently acquired Activision Blizzard, also confirmed in January it would not stand in the way of a union.
Activision Blizzard has also been under fire since last summer for multiple other reasons, including a lawsuit from the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing involving allegations of sexual misconduct and employee mistreatment. The company recently settled for $18 million with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) regarding allegations of sexual harassment, discrimination, and retaliation.
Update April 7 3:55pm CT: Added information about Raven workers not receiving pay changes due to legal obligations.