Microsoft and the Communications Workers of America have agreed to respect the right of workers at the company to form a union. 60 days later, the agreement will be applied. Regulators in various markets need to approve the $68.7 billion takeover before it closes.
Chris Shelton, president of the CWA, said in a statement that the agreement provides a pathway for workers in the games industry to organize after Microsoft's acquisition. Microsoft's binding commitments will give employees a seat at the table and ensure that the deal will benefit the company's workers. We support the approval of the acquisition and look forward to working with Microsoft after it closes.
Earlier this month, Microsoft announced a set of "principles for employee organizing" that did not contain a lot in the way of substance. Five core provisions make up the CWA pact. Microsoft gave out the following information.
Microsoft will take a neutral approach when employees are interested in joining a union.
Covered employees will be able to easily communicate with other employees and union representatives about union membership in a way that encourages information sharing and avoids business disruptions.
Employees will have access to an innovative technology supported and streamlined process for choosing whether to join a union.
Employees have the option to maintain confidentiality and privacy if they so choose.
If there is a disagreement between Microsoft and the CWA, the two organizations will work together quickly to reach an agreement, and if they can't, they'll go to an expedited process.
Brad Smith, Microsoft's president and vice chair, said that the company's approach to labor organizations would be guided by a set of principles. We see today's partnership as an avenue to innovate and grow with CWA.
Microsoft and the CWA agreed to explore other ways of collaborating. There are opportunities for the US workforce to benefit from new technology and skill building programs.
Microsoft has said a lot about the attempts to organize. According to a report, Phil Spencer said in an all-hands meeting in late May that Microsoft would support an employees organization. Microsoft will honor the decisions of employees who choose to be represented by a labor organization.
The Federal Trade Commission and antitrust regulators in other key markets could be helped by the pact. In April, the publisher's shareholders overwhelmingly approved the proposed takeover.
Quality assurance workers at the studio voted to form a union last month. The result of the election was not challenged by the company. Last week, the company said it would negotiate with the CWA.
Bobby Kotick warned that the negotiations may take some time to complete. In April, the company said it would hire 1,100 workers with higher minimum pay and benefits. The Game Workers Alliance did not get the same offer from it.