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Activision Blizzard to make a thousand QA testers permanent staff

Activision Blizzard, the game maker that Microsoft is buying, is upgrading a thousand game testers to full-time employees with increased pay.

Even when you are in the process of being bought out for billions of dollars, you can still make your workers happy. Activision Blizzard, which software giant Microsoft announced it would purchase for $68.7 billion, has announced it will convert all its temporary QA testers to full-time employees. This involves about 1,100 positions.

The new workers will now qualify for a minimum pay of $20 per hour. They will also get job benefits.

In a statement announcing the change, Activision said;

“Across Activision Blizzard, we are bringing more content to players across our franchises than ever before. As a result, we are refining how our teams work together to develop our games and deliver the best possible experiences for our players. We have ambitious plans for the future, and our Quality Assurance (QA) team members are a critical part of our development efforts.

“Therefore, today, we announced the conversion of all US-based temporary and contingent QA team members at Activision Publishing (AP) and Blizzard – nearly 1,100 people in total – to permanent full-time employees starting July 1. Additionally, we are increasing the minimum hourly rate for these team members to $20/hr or more effective April 17. These employees also will be eligible to participate in the company’s bonus plan and will have access to full company benefits.

“This change follows a process that began last year across AP and Blizzard of converting temporary and contingent employees, including 500 at AP’s studios, to permanent full-time employees.”

Activision is making this change after protests from some Raven Software employees. Raven Software is a studio owned by Activision which worked on the popular Call of Duty series. The studio announced it would lay off its QA contract workers, but some of the employees went on a protest strike and formed a union known as the Game Workers Alliance in conjunction with Communications Workers of America.

Even though they will now become full-time employees, Raven Software QA workers will not get a raise. Activision explained to The Verge in a statement, “Due to our legal obligations under the National Labor Relations Act, we are prohibited from making new kinds of compensation changes at Raven at this time.”

However, this explanation does not satisfy Communications Workers of America. The secretary-treasurer, Sara Steffens, said, “Make no mistake, all credit for Activision Blizzard’s latest move to give all temporary and contingent QA team members full-time employment and a raise should go to the workers who have been organizing, mobilizing and speaking out.

“It’s especially galling then that Activision has excluded Raven Software QA workers, who have been at the forefront of this effort, from these benefits. The company’s assertion that the National Labor Relations Act prevents them from including Raven workers is clearly an effort to divide workers and undermine their effort to form a union (Game Workers Alliance – CWA). Activision’s disingenuous announcement is further evidence of the need for workers to have a protected voice on the job. We strongly urge Activision Blizzard to rectify this situation and respect Raven QA workers’ protected right to organize under the law.”

Epic Games made a similar move earlier this year.

Written by HackerVibes

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