According to the Communication Workers of America union (CWA), Microsoft will voluntarily recognize a union of about 300 video-game testers at subsidiary ZeniMax Studios if they vote to unionize, a first for the company in the United States.
Testers on development teams in the ZeniMax Studios group, which includes Bethesda, Id Software, and others, can indicate their preference for unionization via signed union cards or an electronic portal.
If it is successful, it will be the largest unionization effort ever seen in the game industry.
This recognition would avoid the contentious National Labor Relations Board review process that has slowed Activision Blizzard’s unionization efforts among testers.
In a statement, CWA President Christopher Shelton praised Microsoft’s move, saying “when workers have the opportunity to join a union without company interference, it empowers them to have their voices heard in the workplace.”
Meanwhile, game testers at Activision subsidiaries Blizzard Albany and Raven Software voted this year to join unions, despite the CWA’s claims that the company threatened and retaliated against union supporters.
The sources for this piece include an article in Reuters.