Activision’s studio workers are voting for the union, the first for the gaming industry.

A working group of video game studios that are part of Activision Blizzard have voted to form a trade union, the first for a major North American video game company.

The vote, which received 19 against 3, affects 28 quality assurance staff members at Raven Software, a Wisconsin studio that helps create the popular Call of Duty game. Workers have been voting for the past few weeks, and the results were announced by the National Labor Relations Council on Monday. Activision has one week to formally object if it finds grounds for a complaint.

The new union, Game Workers Alliance, is the culmination of months of organizing labor in Activision, which has come under increasing pressure from employees to improve working conditions after a court accused the company of a sexist culture in which women were regularly harassed.

Organizations at Raven were especially heightened in December, when quality assurance workers, or QAs, came out to protest the termination of up to ten workers ’contracts. American communications workers, a well-known union of tech, media and communications, assisted in the trade union effort.

“Our greatest hope is that our union will inspire a growing workforce of workers in video game studios to create better games and build jobs that reflect our values ​​and empower us all,” the new union said in a statement.

Sarah Stephens, CWA treasurer-secretary, said she was “excited” by the prospect of a new union and that “these workers will soon have an executive union contract and a voice at work.” Also Senator Tammy Baldwin, Wisconsin Democrat Announced a new connection on Twitter.

Employees of the video game industry have complained for years about poor pay, gender discrimination, and “hardship” – a term for heavy, 12- to 14-hour shifts given to workers who are in a hurry to meet deadlines. These seizures particularly affect quality assurance workers, who say they are often viewed as second-class workers. In recent years, employees have begun to organize. But so far, none of the major creators of North American video games have had a merger.

The new union concerns only a small group of workers – 28 QA workers in Raven’s studio, where several hundred people work. Activision, which is in the process of being acquired by Microsoft for $ 70 billion, has argued that all employees in the studio should have the right to vote. This assertion was denied by the NLRB at a hearing in April.

On Monday, Activision reiterated its opposition, arguing that the decision to merge “should not be made by 19 Raven employees”. The company would not say whether it intended to file a complaint, saying only that it would “take what is best for the studio and our staff.”

The NLRB regional director “found merit in the allegations made by the CWA that Activision violated federal labor law and told employees not to talk about pay or working conditions; Maintaining an “overly broad” social media policy; And overseeing employees who were engaged in “protected agreed-upon activities.” The Labor Board said it would not be able to hear a complaint against Activision.

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