Microsoft has entered into a labour neutrality agreement with the Communications Workers of America (CWA), a union for people working in the media, video games and other industries.
The terms of the agreement will apply to employees at video game company Activision Blizzard, which was acquired by Microsoft in January 2022.
This agreement demonstrates Microsoft’s commitment to mutual respect and open communication between the two organisations. It will involve Microsoft taking a neutral approach when employees covered by the agreement express an interest in joining a union. This will allow covered employees to communicate freely with other members of the union, encouraging information sharing and avoiding business disruptions.
Employees will also be able to maintain confidentiality over their choice to join the union.
“This agreement provides a pathway for Activision Blizzard workers to exercise their democratic rights to organise and collectively bargain after the close of the Microsoft acquisition and establishes a high road framework for employers in the games industry,” said Chris Shelton, president of CWA. “Microsoft’s binding commitments will give employees a seat at the table and ensure that the acquisition of Activision Blizzard benefits the company’s workers and the broader video game labour market. The agreement addresses CWA’s previous concerns regarding the acquisition, and, as a result, we support its approval and look forward to working collaboratively with Microsoft after this deal closes.”
Microsoft and CWA will work together to overcome any disagreements that may arise.
“Earlier this month we announced a set of principles that will guide our approach to labour organisations, and the Activision Blizzard acquisition is our first opportunity to put these principles into practice,” said Brad Smith, president and vice chair at Microsoft. “We appreciate CWA’s collaboration in reaching this agreement, and we see today’s partnership as an avenue to innovate and grow together.”
The agreement does not impact the Activision workforce before the close of Microsoft’s transaction.