Workers of ‘Call of Duty’ maker Activision Blizzard vote to join union

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A small group of Activision Blizzard workers voted to unite in a studio that operates the popular “Call of Duty” franchise, the second victory in organizing the video gaming industry.

According to a poll by U.S. National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) officials on Monday, employees at Raven Software’s Quality Assurance Division in Middleton, Wisconsin, voted 19-3 to join the U.S. Communication Workers. The number of ballots received was 24 out of 28 eligible voters. There were two challenging ballots, not enough to change the outcome of the vote.

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The victory comes amid an increase in labor activity by workers in the technology sector.

In December, Vodio became North America’s first video game studio to secure union representation with workers.

Employees of an Amazon warehouse in Staten Island, New York, recently voted to form a union, and employees of an Apple Store in Atlanta have filed a petition to elect a union.

Employees at more than 50 U.S. Starbucks cafes have voted to join Workers United, with five of the nearly 240 stores voting against the union since last August.

“There’s a lot of energy and optimism right now, especially among young workers,” said John Logan, a professor of labor and employment studies at San Francisco State University, adding that there has been a rise in labor organizations across the country.

In Wisconsin, according to the organizers’ official Twitter account, organizers called for a healthier work environment with realistic development deadlines, appropriate compensation and career development opportunities in an industry where quality assurance is underestimated.

Microsoft announced plans to acquire Activation in January.

(Reporting by Dinsola Oladipore in New York; edited by Lisa Schumacher)

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