Phil Spencer was keen to express his future support for the newly-unionized Raven Software.
Feelgood Friday: Xbox Boss Phil Spencer Welcomes Raven Software Union
Xbox boss, Phil Spencer, is at it again. Whilst the biggest companies across the US fight tooth and nail against unionization efforts, our buddy Phil is going against the grain by not only avoiding union-busting efforts, but by actually coming out in support of them. Demonstrating that higher-ups really can show good foresight.
The promise to recognize the union of Raven Software, which is a division of Activision Blizzard, was made all the sweeter in that it flew in the face of Activision Blizzard's efforts to undermine the unionization efforts over the last few months.
The Raven Software quality assurance team voted 19 in favor and three against on Monday to form the Game Workers Alliance. Making them the first union at a major games studio in the USA. But getting there was a struggle, with Activision Blizzard pulling out all the stops to ensure they diverted course.
But they held strong, and before long it fell to forthcoming Raven boss, Phil Spencer, to weigh in. Microsoft's record-breaking acquisition of Activision Blizzard is currently being investigated by the Federal Trade Commission. But once the deal has closed, Spencer has offered an enthusiastic promise to accept and recognize the union.
In an all-hands meeting with employees yesterday, Spencer's intentions were clear. "We absolutely support employees' right to organize and form unions," he said, "Once the deal closes, we would absolutely support [an] employees' organization that's in place…we think it is a right of employees and something that can be a part of a relationship between a company and people who work at the company."
This response to Raven's seminal unionization efforts is a far cry from Activision Blizzard's. In various emails to sources like Kotaku and the Washington Post, company spokespeople were keen to express their regret that 19 employees were able to form a union using the processes available via the National Labor Relations Board.
But as Activision Blizzard continues to navigate the controversies it's mired in, we're looking forward to seeing what the developer will look like under new management.