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A group of roughly 600 Activision Publishing quality assurance workers have formed the nation’s largest video game industry union.

Backed by the Communications Workers of America (CWA), the bargaining unit is the first to organize at Activision under the labor neutrality agreement between the CWA and Microsoft, which went into effect after the company acquired Activision Blizzard last October. Under the terms of the agreement, all Activision Blizzard workers are free to discuss and begin working towards unionizing. As an independent company, Activision Blizzard pushed back hard against any attempts by employees to organize, whereas Microsoft has agreed to remain neutral.

The new QA workers’ bargaining unit includes Activision employees in California, Texas, and Minnesota. The CWA now represents more than 1,000 video game workers at Microsoft.

The group’s unionizing feels particularly important given the current upheaval in the gaming industry which resulted in more than 8,000 games industry workers being laid off in the first two months of this year. Microsoft was one of the biggest contributors to that figure, laying off 1,900 employees in January, most of them from its Activision Blizzard teams.

In a release, Communications Workers of America president Claude Cummings Jr. praised Microsoft for its continuing philosophy of voluntarily recognizing its workers’ unionization efforts:

Microsoft continues to keep its commitment to let workers decide for themselves whether they want a union. Time and again, other big companies in the industry have made the decision to undermine and attack their own employees when they join together to form a union. Microsoft’s choice will strengthen its corporate culture and ability to serve its customers and should serve as a model for the industry.

Amy Pannoni, vp and deputy general counsel of human resources legal at Microsoft, added:

We maintained our commitment to remain neutral during the organizing campaign, and following this vote, we recognize the Communications Workers of America (CWA) as the bargaining representative for the Activision Publishing Central Quality Assurance employees. We look forward to continuing our positive labor management relationship.