ZeniMax QA employees are voting on unionization

Starfield concept art

Another studio moves towards unionization

Quality assurance, or QA, employees at ZeniMax Media are currently holding a vote on whether or not they should form a union. Over 300 workers are part of a group that’s now determining whether it will join growing unionization efforts in the industry.

As the New York Times reports, quality assurance employees at ZeniMax are conducting a vote. Workers will be allowed to sign a union authorization card, or weigh in anonymously over electronic means.

This process will conclude at the end of this month, and will affect QA workers at studios like Bethesda. The employees are organizing under the ZeniMax Workers United banner, working with the Communication Workers of America (CWA).

Employees are hoping to secure fair treatment for individuals and commensurate wages. Additionally, they seek opportunities for advancement, accountability and transparency, and a voice in decision making around scheduling and workload.

Unions in the games industry

Microsoft has recognized the legal right to discuss unionization and previously signed an agreement with the CWA to take a neutral approach to organizing efforts, should the Activision Blizzard acquisition go through. According to the CWA and ZeniMax Workers United, Microsoft has “remained committed to staying neutral” throughout the process.

A Microsoft spokesperson told the Times that the company remains “committed to providing employees with an opportunity to freely and fairly make choices about their workplace representation.”

This is hot off the heels of successful union efforts at Blizzard Albany. Recently, workers at the studio won the vote to successfully unionize, making it the second unionized QA team at Activision Blizzard alongside Raven Software. Microsoft is also still in the process of getting its acquisition of Activision Blizzard approved.

Since the Albany vote received pushback in the form of motions to postpone validation, eyes are on Microsoft now to see how union vote efforts at ZeniMax shake out.

Eric Van Allen
Senior News Reporter