Following the recent rise of labor unions in the tech sector, Microsoft released a new set of principles acknowledging the rights of its employees to organize, saying that it is “committed to creative and collaborative approaches” to work with unions.
In a recent blog post, Brad Smith, Microsoft’s president, wrote: “Our employees will never need to organize to have a dialogue with Microsoft’s leaders […] We recognize that there may be times when some employees in some countries may wish to form or join a union.”
The rise of labor unions extends to Amazon, which recently faced unionization efforts at two warehouse facilities in New York City. There, workers successfully voted and became the first Amazon workers to formally unionize in the United States. Apple is also experiencing a rise in labor unions, where some of the company’s retail store employees in Atlanta filed for union election earlier this year.
Unlike Amazon, which opposed the formation of labor unions within its network, Microsoft is supportive of the move. Brad Smith writes: “We’re trying to fashion the right course for Microsoft […] Every company is unique, every industry is unique. We’re not trying to say anything about what is good or bad for any other company.”
Microsoft unionization might happen very soon in the wake of the ongoing $68.7 billion acquisition of video game company Activision Blizzard. Last week, a group of quality assurance employees at Raven Software, a gaming studio owned by Activision Blizzard that works on the company’s popular “Call of Duty” game series, voted to form a union.
The company‘s top gaming executive, Xbox chief Phil Spencer, reportedly expressed support for Raven’s union during a recent all-hands meeting.
If you see something out of place or would like to contribute to this story, check out our Ethics and Policy section.