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Bethesda Softworks employees begin unionization efforts under Microsoft

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What you need to know

  • 300 employees under Bethesda Softworks, which is part of the Xbox first-party group, are beginning unionization efforts. 
  • The vote is set to be finished by the end of the month, and is being overseen by the Communication Workers of America.
  • Microsoft previously signed an agreement with the Communication Workers of America, promising to remain neutral in unionization efforts across Activision Blizzard. 
  • Microsoft is in the process of acquiring Activision Blizzard for almost $69 billion.

While Microsoft previously promised it would allow unionization efforts to go forward, that promise is bearing some early fruit.

According to a report from The New York Times (opens in new tab), over 300 employees across ZeniMax Media (the parent company of Bethesda Softworks) are beginning to weigh forming a union. Employees across quality assurance (QA) in teams like Bethesda Games Studios are being allowed to sign a union authorization card or provide anonymous feedback for or against unionizing. 

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