The “overwhelming majority” of quality assurance professionals at ZeniMax Media voted to join the union, creating the largest video game union in the United States.
ZeniMax Workers United / Communications Workers of America is also the first video game studios union in Microsoft’s parent company.
ZeniMax employees overseeing Bethesda Softworks announced the creation of the union in early December, while Microsoft continues to “strive to remain neutral throughout the process.” The official voting period lasted from December 2 to December 31.
“In light of the results of the recent unionization vote, we recognize the Communications Workers of America (CWA) as a negotiating representative for the quality assurance staff at ZeniMax,” a Microsoft spokesperson said in a statement to PC Gamer. “We look forward to starting good-faith negotiations as we work on a collective agreement.”
Big news! Congratulations to @ZeniMaxWorkers! We’re so excited to welcome them officially into the CWA family! https://t.co/55X6468UW1
— CWA (@CWAUnion) January 3, 2023
“We are very excited to start 2023 with a stronger and fairer work environment than last year,” senior quality assurance tester Skylar Hinnant said in a statement. “This is an inspiring victory that allows us to protect ourselves and each other in a way we could never have done without the union. We hope and believe that this is the year when hunting workers across the country will show their strength and change the industry as a whole.”
Senior QA Tester Dylan Burton added: “It’s hard to put into words how important our union’s victory is to us. We worked so hard to get here that it would be impossible not to be excited. We know that this is not the end of our hard work, but reaching this milestone gives us the faith that when the workers unite, we can do whatever we want.”
Back in December, the union outlined four main points that it hoped to provide for its members:
- Fair treatment of all people + wages corresponding to the value we provide
- Opportunities for promotion within the company
- Accountability + transparency
- Voice in decision-making on schedule, workload, etc.
- A 2022 survey showed that 79% of video game workers support unionization.
Microsoft’s support for the union goes against Activision Blizzard, which will soon be absorbed. , including groping, comments and flirting” in the workplace.
“Microsoft has fulfilled its obligations to its employees and allowed them to decide for themselves whether they want a union,” CWA president Chris Shelton said after ZeniMax’s success in unionizing.
“Other video game and technology giants have made a conscious choice to attack, undermine and demoralize their employees when they unite to form a union. Microsoft is charting a different course that will strengthen its corporate culture and ability to serve its customers and should serve as a model for the industry and a blueprint for regulators.”
In other news: Many Forza Horizon 5 players are currently racing open-world in their Hoonigan cars to pay tribute to rally legend Ken Block, who passed away earlier this week.