Microsoft recognises first labour union in US

Image credit: BBC

Employees at Microsoft’s ZeniMax Studios have chosen to establish the company’s first union in the US.

The Communications Workers of America (CWA) union said that Microsoft decided to recognise the group after a “supermajority” of employees at the video game development company expressed support for the proposal.

The Elder Scrolls and Fallout are two well-known video games owned by ZeniMax.

Other US corporations that have experienced labour disputes recently include Apple, Amazon, and Google, as employees demand more from bosses in light of the rising cost of living.

According to the CWA, union efforts typically draw vehement corporate opposition.

According to Chris Shelton, president of CWA, “other video game and IT firms have made a determined effort to attack, undermine, and demoralise their people when they join together to create a union.”

According to the CWA, the developer of the well-known first-person shooter DOOM, ZeniMax Studios, is the first studio within Microsoft US to acquire union representation and will have the largest team of union-represented quality assurance testers of any US gaming studio.

At operations in Texas and Maryland, the group will represent about 300 quality assurance staff members.

The organisers expressed their expectation that a union, which permits collective bargaining over topics like salary and working conditions, would enable them to enhance job prospects, minimise unfair pay practises, and lessen overwork during lean times.

By voluntarily agreeing to negotiate with unionised workers, Microsoft can circumvent a formal procedure regulated by the US National Labor Relations Board, which frequently leads to court battles.

Activision Blizzard’s game sector has also seen involvement from the CWA in unionisation initiatives. The business has resisted the attempts.

The government filed a lawsuit to try to stop Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard last year after the company revealed a contract to do so.

As part of its efforts to garner approval for that merger, which would be one of the largest in corporate history, Microsoft had agreed with the CWA to refrain from taking sides in labour disputes.

The spokeswoman stated, “We look forward to engaging in good faith negotiations as we work toward a collective bargaining agreement.”

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