Activision Blizzard Will Bring 11,000 Contract Employees On Full-Time

Activision Blizzard is in the midst of a gigantic unionization effort among its employees. The Quality Assurance department of Raven Software, in particular, has been vocal about unionizing ever since a dozen QA employees were laid off due to company reorganization. The layoffs led to an employee walkout with many saying that they were promised better pay and benefits in the future. Eventually, the Raven Software QA department did form a union, but Activision Blizzard has so far chosen to not recognize it.

While employee demands for their union to be recognized have not been met, they did somewhat accomplish one of their goals. On Thursday, Jason Schreier of Bloomberg reported that 11,000 temporary and contract employees within Activision Blizzard are being brought on full time and will have their salaries raised to at least $20 an hour.

The catch: The people who will be receiving raises are employees that are not joining the union. Activision Blizzard says this is due to legal obligations. A spokesperson for Activision Blizzard told Schreier that the raise and the employee’s choice to unionize are unrelated to one another.

This change follows a process that began last year” across Activision Publishing and Blizzard, a spokesperson said in a statement.

An Activision Blizzard spokesperson said Raven workers won’t receive new pay initiatives “due to legal obligations under the National Labor Relations Act.” The spokesperson added that “Whether Raven workers choose to unionize has nothing to do with the salary increases elsewhere for Activision’s QA workers.” A representative for the Communications Workers of America, which is representing Raven in its union push, didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

Activision Blizzard bringing on 11,000 employees full time comes in the middle of a tumultuous year within the company. Not only did employee walkouts occur due to layoffs, but they’ve also taken place in response to numerous sexual misconduct allegations against the company. The company is also in the process of being sold to Microsoft, which could potentially lead to sweeping changes, such as the removal of Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick.