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The first Microsoft union came to light after the establishment of three unions by groups of employees at three studios owned by Activision.
For the first time in history, Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ: MSFT) has recognized its first union of employees, consisting of about 300 video game testers working for the company’s ZeniMax Studios. Microsoft purchased ZeniMax Media in 2021 for more than $8 billion. The members came together to form the union, which is the first of its kind in the software giant’s 47-year history. Also, the new Microsoft union is the largest in the video game industry. From time to time, airline workers and other employees of automakers, schools, government agencies, and co typically belong to unions.
Last year, Microsoft noted that it would support approaches that would make it easier for its employees to belong to a union. The company said in June, while it worked on its regulatory support for its Activision Blizzard (NASDAQ: ATVI) acquisition, that it would acknowledge who voted to organize. Meanwhile, tech giants Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) and Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) have not supported employees in creating unions.
Microsoft Recognizes Its First Union
The first Microsoft union came to light after the establishment of three unions by groups of employees at three studios owned by Activision. The studios are Raven Software, based in Wisconsin, and Proletariat in Massachusetts. And New York-based Blizzard Albany. The Communications Workers of America, which represents the union, said last week that a sub-majority of employees at Proletariat had voted to form a union. Also, quality assurance workers across several studios at ZeniMax have been among the first set of people to unionize in the gaming industry. This group came together over low pay and poor working conditions. Notably, the quality-assurance workers test the games for bugs and ensure they work perfectly.
One of the testers, Skylar Hinnat, referred to the act as an “empowering victory” while speaking on the move. He added that the new Microsoft union hopes 2023 “is the year in which game workers across the country exercise their power and reshape the industry as a whole.” Acknowledging the first union, a spokesperson for Microsoft and ZeniMax wrote:
“In light of the results of the recent unionization vote, we recognize the Communications Workers of America (CWA) as the bargaining representative for the Quality Assurance employees at ZeniMax. We look forward to engaging in good-faith negotiations as we work towards a collective bargaining agreement.”
In December 2022, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) moved to block Microsoft from acquiring Activision Blizzard as planned. The Commission filed an antitrust case against Microsoft, stating that it would stop the technology company from violating US law of suppressing competitors.
At press time, MSFT trades up 0.54% to $240.88. Except for a 0.35% gain in the last five days, the American multinational technology corporation’s stock has been gathering losses for the past year.