ZeniMax testers form first US Microsoft union

Microsoft agreed to approve the union after most of the video game production studio’s 300 quality assurance (QA) testers supported the proposal, according to the Communications Workers of America (CWA) union.

The new group overnight became the largest union in the history of the video game industry and Microsoft’s first US union.

ZeniMax is the studio behind the popular games DOOM, Fallout and The Elder Scrolls. Microsoft announced that in 2021 he would buy the company for $7.5 billion, bringing these game franchises exclusively to Xbox consoles and Windows under the Xbox Game Studios banner.

According to the CWA, ZeniMax’s QA testers had been organizing for several months to gain support for their union work.

Employees will begin signing the union endorsement card in November 2022. The formal voting process began on December 2nd and ended on December 31st through a secret online site.

Organizers are optimistic that unions will help improve employment prospects, minimize unfair wage practices and reduce overwork during peak hours (a common practice in the gaming industry known as crunch).

By voluntarily agreeing to negotiate with union-represented workers, Microsoft is able to bypass the formal process overseen by the US National Labor Relations Board.

Brad Smith, vice chairman and president of Microsoft, said in June last year: By resisting legitimate employee efforts to participate in protected activities, including forming or joining a union. ”

Wayne Daberry, senior tester at the video game studio, said the idea of ​​forming a union was decided long before Microsoft acquired ZeniMax. He added that his QA his testers in the video game industry are subject to unfavorable working conditions and are often paid very low wages.

CWA President Chris Shelton Said Microsoft “kept its commitment to workers and let workers decide for themselves whether they want a union.”

“Other video game and tech giants have made conscious choices. Attack, undermine and demoralize employees when they combine to form a union. Microsoft plans another course to strengthen its corporate culture and ability to serve its customers and serve as a model for the industry and a blueprint for regulators. ”

ZeniMax’s unionization follows a recent surge in unionization efforts in the United States.

As the cost of living continues to rise, employees are demanding more from their employers, and Apple, AmazonWhen Googleamong others.

https://www.computing.co.uk/news/4062228/zenimax-testers-create-us-microsoft-union ZeniMax testers form first US Microsoft union

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