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300 QA Employees at Microsoft Owned ZeniMax To Form a Union

300 QA Employees at Microsoft Owned ZeniMax To Form a Union - News

by William D'Angelo , posted on 05 December 2022 / 848 Views

300 quality assurance employees at Microsoft owned ZeniMax Media are looking to hold a vote on whether to form a union, according to a report from The New York Times. This follows Microsoft who worked out a deal with the The Communications Workers of America (CWA) to agree to a labor neutrality agreement, which would let workers freely form their own unions.

The quality assurance workers includes those who work at Bethesda Game Studios and can sign a union authorization card or weigh in anonymously for or against unionization on an electronic platform. This process will conclude at the end of the month. 

A Microsoft spokeswoman said that Microsoft not interfering with the organizing campaign by the quality assurance employees is "an example of our labor principles in action." Microsoft remains "committed to providing employees with an opportunity to freely and fairly make choices about their workplace representation."

The quality assurance employees announced the formation of the union with the CWA. The union is called ZeniMax Workers United.

"Today we, a majority of QA workers at ZeniMax, are proud to announce the launch of our union with [CWA]," reads the tweet from ZeniMax Workers United. "We are the first group of workers at Microsoft to formally unionize. We are empowered to advocate for ourselves & build a future where we can thrive alongside the company.

"QA workers at ZeniMax are extremely passionate about our work and the games we make. Having a seat at the table will ensure we receive fair compensation for the work that we do. A union on the job will protect us and make sure our passion isn’t taken for granted."

The union is hoping to secure the following:

  • Fair treatment for all individuals + wages commensurate with the value we provide 
  • Opportunities for advancement within the company 
  • Accountability + transparency 
  • A voice in decision making around scheduling, workload + more

The union added, "We know we have a unique opportunity to be trailblazers for a new era of the game industry and we don't take this lightly. Our union will be a place where ALL workers can collectively participate in decision making and push for changes that reflect the wants & needs of workers.

"So far, Microsoft has remained committed to staying neutral throughout this process. As we vote over the next 4 weeks in our democratic election, we hope that you will support our journey towards building lasting positive change for workers, gamers & the industry as a whole."

19 quality assurance testers at Activision Blizzards' Raven Software in May of this year voted today to form the first major union in the US video game industry. The union is called Game Workers Alliance.

A life-long and avid gamer, William D'Angelo was first introduced to VGChartz in 2007. After years of supporting the site, he was brought on in 2010 as a junior analyst, working his way up to lead analyst in 2012 and taking over the hardware estimates in 2017. He has expanded his involvement in the gaming community by producing content on his own YouTube channel and Twitch channel. You can contact the author on Twitter @TrunksWD.

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smroadkill15 (on 06 December 2022)

The fact MS is neutral on unionization is great overall for employees. I would certainly rather work for a company that let's employees have a choice to unionize than actively tries to be a union buster.

  • +11
The Fury (on 06 December 2022)

Good. QA people in the industry seem the easiest to make redundant when the time comes and overwork too. Maybe this will help stop a lot of crunch and random lay off to boost profits.

  • +5
CosmicSex (on 06 December 2022)

This is only good news for all parties involved including consumers.

  • +5
y2jarmyofficial CosmicSex (on 06 December 2022)

Why would that be? I really don’t know what Being Union is. I’m a cook and a former veteran and this term is never used or explained

  • 0
VAMatt (on 06 December 2022)

The headline here is incorrect. They are looking to vote on whether or not to form a union. The headline implies that they have already voted, and that the outcome was that they will unionize.

  • 0