Quality Assurance testers at Activision Blizzard in Albany, N.Y., formerly Vicarious Visions, became the second group of Activision Blizzard workers to form a union with CWA. On Tuesday, a supermajority of the workers announced the formation of the Albany Game Workers Alliance/CWA and filed for a union representation election with the National Labor Relations Board after requesting voluntary recognition last week.
“There is absolutely no reason for Activision Blizzard to refuse to recognize the Blizzard Albany workers’ union,” said CWA Secretary-Treasurer Sara Steffens. “There is no doubt about what the workers want. Over 95% of the quality assurance testers have signed onto a vision statement requesting union recognition. Recognizing the union will show that Activision Blizzard’s management is serious about improving the company’s work environment. Engaging in a protracted union election fight would further undermine morale and cement management’s legacy as enablers of a toxic, hostile work environment.”
Microsoft is in the process of acquiring Activision Blizzard, and has entered into a legally binding agreement with CWA to remain neutral when workers want to organize a union, which includes a streamlined process for choosing union representation. In May, quality assurance workers at Activision’s Raven Software studio in Wisconsin made history as the first major video game studio workers to win their union election. Read more here.
America’s Test Kitchen
An overwhelming majority of workers at America’s Test Kitchen (ATK) have voted for union representation with CWA in a National Labor Relations Board election. The workers, members of ATK United (CWA Local 1400), requested voluntary recognition from the company in May. The members, who help produce and support ATK’s award winning content in multiple ways, will now seek to bargain a contract that includes competitive salaries, affordable healthcare, better benefits, transparent and consistent processes for hiring, performance reviews, promotions, and pay raises, as well as a sincere commitment to diversity at all levels, a continuation of remote work flexibility, and a say in the decisions being made that impact workers. Read more here.
Wise Connect (Lumen)
Technicians in Colorado who work for Wise Connect, a contractor for Lumen, have been organizing for a union with CWA to fight for better working conditions. The workers are facing various challenges including low pay, unsafe working conditions, lack of supplies, and a lack of dignity and respect on the job. They recently won an Unfair Labor Practice (ULP) case which galvanized many of the workers to join the organizing effort. The ULP charge was regarding unfair surveillance and a veiled threat by the company to shut down the contract if workers join the union. The technicians who are organizing firmly believe that, by doing so, they can create a better environment for themselves and provide a better path for future contract technicians at Lumen.
Workers at The Hill, a Washington-based political publication, voted to join NewsGuild-CWA. Their union, The Hill Guild, part of Washington-Baltimore News Guild (TNG-CWA Local 32035), wants to improve diversity in the newsroom and work on improving benefits to keep people at The Hill. The unit of about 100 staff writers, designers, video producers, and members of the social media and events teams is also interested in protecting abortion rights, securing gender-affirming care, and lowering high prescription fees.
CWA Local 4818 Smithville Telephone Workers vote to ratify the contract