Phil Spencer Reaffirms Microsoft Won’t Oppose Raven QA Syndicate

As reported by kotaku (opens in new tab)Xbox boss Phil Spencer stated at an internal general meeting that Microsoft will recognize Raven QA’s new union if its bid to buy parent company Activision Blizzard wins the FTC approval (opens in new tab) and passes.

At the meeting, the recording of which was shown to Kotaku, Spencer stated that he and Microsoft’s vice president of gaming Linda Norman “absolutely support the right of employees to organize and form unions” and that they “will absolutely support [an] organization of employees that is in place.” This is in accordance with a previous statement (opens in new tab) from Microsoft corporate vice president Lisa Tanzi, who told the Washington Post that “Microsoft respects the right of Activision Blizzard employees to choose whether to be represented by a labor organization, and we will honor those decisions.”

It is unclear what recourse Microsoft would have otherwise, as union unity was taken to the NLRB and won in an overwhelming vote (opens in new tab). Microsoft’s softer rhetoric contrasts with that of Activision Blizzard’s management, which actively opposed the unionization effort at Raven QA.

Unless the acquisition radically changes Activision Blizzard’s corporate structure and Raven’s relationship with it, it is possible that Microsoft will simply avoid intervening in any way in disputes between the union and Raven’s management, with hostile actions continuing at the company level. Activision Blizzard. There’s also the open question of what future union moves at Activision Blizzard-owned studios might look like now that Raven QA has opened the door, and how Microsoft will respond if the merger goes through.

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