Labor organizations support Microsoft and Activision-Blizzard acquisition

Microsoft Activision-Blizzard

At least two major labor organizations have come out in support of the impending acquisition of Activision-Blizzard by tech giant Microsoft.

This acquisition would bring the publisher of franchises like Call of Duty, Warcraft, and Crash Bandicoot as part of the company’s growing Xbox Game Studios.

Both the CWA (Communications Workers of America) and AFL-CIO (The American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations) have both spoken out in favor of the acquisition.

Workers’ rights activists are normally skeptical of large mergers due to the fact they result in less jobs and a less competitive job market.

However, in this case the CWA and Microsoft have committed to a “labor neutrality” agreement which would enable Activision-Blizzard employees to engage in collective bargaining and to join or form a union.

The agreement is a five part commitment on the part of Microsoft and will apply to Activision-Blizzard 60 days after the acquisition is finalized.

First, Microsoft will take a neutral approach when employees covered by the agreement express interest in joining a union. Second, covered employees will be able to easily exercise their right to communicate with other employees and union representatives about union membership in a way that encourages information sharing and avoids business disruptions. Third, employees will have access to an innovative technology-supported and streamlined process for choosing whether to join a union. Fourth, employees can maintain confidentiality and privacy of that choice if they wish. Fifth, if a disagreement arises between the CWA and Microsoft under the agreement, the two organizations will work together promptly to reach an agreement and will turn to an expedited arbitration process if they cannot.

Source: Microsoft News Center

The stance of these organizations stands in stark contrast to past precedent and also United States Senator Bernie Sanders, who called the acquisition a “dangerous concentration of ownership”.

The FTC is the latest obstacle to stand in the way of this drawn out deal which was announced all the way back in January, the commission recently filed an antitrust lawsuit which could call the whole thing off.

The labor neutrality deal still applies to Microsoft, whether or not they close the deal with Activision-Blizzard. Should the acquisition finally go through, Activision-Blizzard will be expected to adopt the agreement within 60 days.

, ,


A basement-dwelling ogre, Brandon's a fan of indie games and slice of life anime. Has too many games and not enough time.

Where'd our comments go? Subscribe to become a member to get commenting access and true free speech!