Microsoft agrees to labour union formed by ZeniMax Studios staff in the US

Microsoft Bay Area office

Employees at Microsoft's ZeniMax Studios have voted to form the first labour union within its US offices. This has been recognised by Microsoft after the plan was supported by a supermajority of staff within the company, which owns well known publishers and developers such as Bethesda and id Software.

The Communications Workers of America (CWA) union president, Chris Shelton, said the following:

"Other video game and tech giants have made a conscious choice to attack, undermine, and demoralize their own employees when they join together to form a union.

Microsoft is charting a different course which will strengthen its corporate culture and ability to serve its customers and should serve as a model for the industry and as a blueprint for regulators."

This union is the first of its kind within Microsoft US, and will consist of approximately 300 quality assurance team members, more than any other US game studio to date.

Last June, Microsoft and the CWA came to a labour neutrality agreement, showing Microsoft's more welcoming stance to unions within the business, with an overall goal to help make the acquisition of Activision Blizzard successful.

Microsoft has declined to comment on the impact the union may have, however, it has stated that it "look(s) forward to engaging in good faith negotiations as we work towards a collective bargaining agreement."

The move follows recent pushes by staff to unionise across the US, with Apple, Amazon, and Google facing similar motions and calls from their employees in recent months following rising costs of living. Unionisation allows for workers to take part in collective bargaining over issues such as pay and working conditions, like crunch conditions.

Source: BBC News

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