A group of about 300 game testers at Microsoft Corp MSFT.O subsidiary Zenimax Studios have voted to unionize, the Communication Workers of America (CWA) union said Tuesday, in a first for the tech giant. in United States.
The CWA said Zenimax employees at four locations in Maryland and Texas voted overwhelmingly to join the union, but it did not provide a recount. Zenimax owns major video game franchises, such as The Elder Scrolls and Fallout.
Microsoft did not immediately respond to a request for comment. He has said he would voluntarily recognize the union if workers voted to unionize.
Voluntarily agreeing to bargain allows Microsoft to avoid a formal election supervised by the US National Labor Relations Board and the legal battles that often follow.
CWA president Christopher Shelton said in a statement that Microsoft has distanced itself from other technology companies that have discouraged union campaigns.
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Microsoft video game testers form the company’s first union in the US
“Microsoft is charting a different path that will reinforce its corporate culture and its ability to serve its customers, and that should serve as a model for the industry and a model for regulators,” Shelton said.
In June, the company reached an agreement with the CWA to remain neutral in union organizing campaigns at Activision Blizzard Inc ATVI.O, which Microsoft plans to buy for $69 billion. Last month, US regulators filed a lawsuit to block the deal.
Game testers at Activision units Blizzard Albany and Raven Software voted in 2022 to join unions, amid allegations by the CWA that the company has threatened and retaliated against union supporters. Activision has denied any wrongdoing.
With information from Reuters.
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