Microsoft Enters Labour Neutrality Agreement With Union


Microsoft and the Communications Workers of America said on Monday they have entered into a labour neutrality agreement, allowing employees to “freely and fairly” make choice about union representation.

The agreement will apply at Activision Blizzard beginning 60 days after Microsoft’s acquisition closes, they said.

“This agreement provides a pathway for Activision Blizzard workers to exercise their democratic rights to organize and collectively bargain after the close of the Microsoft acquisition and establishes a high road framework for employers in the games industry,” said Chris Shelton, CWA’s president.

This comes after Activision Blizzard on Friday recognized the CWA and began negotiations on behalf of a small group of quality assurance testers at the Call of Duty videogame maker which voted to unionize last month.

Earlier this month, Microsoft President Brad Smith said the company will not resist unionization efforts from its employees.

Workers across technology companies are becoming more vocal about better pay and working conditions. More than 200 workers at Alphabet Inc formed a labour union for the Google parent’s US and Canadian offices last year.

In another update, Microsoft confirmed last week that the company would stop enforcing existing non-compete clauses in the United States, while also committing to a civil rights audit of its workforce policies in 2023.

The Redmond, Washington-based software firm said changes to the enforcement of non-compete clauses would not apply to the company’s most senior leadership.

Microsoft added the civil rights audit of its workforce policies and practices would be conducted by a third party and a report would be published.

The software firm also aims to have salary ranges in all of the company’s internal and external job postings across the US by at least January 2023. It would also no longer include confidentiality language in its US settlement and separation agreements that prohibits workers from disclosing conduct they perceive as illegal.

© Thomson Reuters 2022

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