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300+ Microsoft Studio Workers Join CWA


The new year brings word of a major organizing win for the MTD-affiliated Communications Workers of America (CWA).

More than 300 people working at Microsoft’s ZeniMax Media studios indicated via either signing a union authorization card or voting through an online portal that they wanted to be represented by CWA. And, Microsoft, in accordance with its stated labor principles, agreed to recognize ZeniMax Workers United/CWA.

“Microsoft has lived up to its commitment to its workers and let them decide for themselves whether they want a union,” said CWA President Chris Shelton. “Other video game and tech giants have made a conscious choice to attack, undermine and demoralize their own employees when they join together to form a union.

“Microsoft is charting a different course which will strengthen its corporate culture and ability to serve its customers and should serve as a model for the industry and blueprint for regulators,” Shelton added.

In a full page ad in the January 6 edition of The Washington Post, CWA and Microsoft jointly stated, “As we enter a new year, we remain committed to creating the best workplaces we can for people who make a living in the tech sector. When both labor and management bring their voices to the bargaining table, employees, shareholders and customers alike benefit.”

According to the CWA, quality assurance workers at ZeniMax Media had been organizing for months to transform the company for the benefit of workers, the business and the players who enjoy the studios’ games. ZeniMax Media is a video production company with studios in Maryland and Texas known for its games such as Elder Scrolls, DOOM, Quake Champions and Fallout. It is the first Microsoft studio to secure union representation.

CWA also noted that Microsoft made a public commitment around its labor principles, which included respecting its workers’ right to form a union. Microsoft agreed to stay neutral during the ZeniMax Media organizing campaign. The company recognized ZeniMax Workers United/CWA after a neutral third party confirmed that a majority favored joining.

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