Raven Software employees plan walkout in response to QA layoffs

Daniel Sims

Posts: 412   +17
Staff
What just happened? This week, employees at Activision Blizzard-owned studio Raven Software announced their intention to stage a walkout in protest of last week's quality assurance layoffs. The protestors demand full-time job offers for all QA testers, including those laid off.

According to representatives, the QA team at Raven primarily works on Call of Duty: Warzone these days, which is a live-service game that receives updates constantly. Employees say Raven's QA team is essential to its everyday operations.

Last week it came to light that Activision Blizzard would lay off at least a third of the Raven's QA team through January 28 with the status "in good standing." Before the layoffs, the workers were told to expect pay raises, and many were asked to relocate to Wisconsin. According to Uppercut's sources, the company moved 32 testers from Activision Austin because of how much testing Warzone's new Pacific map needed. Raven workers say those who relocated did so with no assistance from the company.

Activision-Blizzard-King (ABK) Workers Alliance is a group of Activision Blizzard employees organized earlier this year amid the company's struggle with sexual assault allegations. It has already spoken in support of Raven. ABK says everyone at Raven is protesting with the studio's continued success in mind.

"This has not only destroyed the morale of our workforce, but obliterated trust in the company that has been routinely asking us for patience in improving our work lives," it said via Twitter.

Activision Blizzard responded by saying it laid off 20 employees in a reorganization that also switched around 500 temporary workers to full-time.

Founded in 1990, Raven has been working on Call of Duty games for years. Its past projects include classics like the Hexen series, the Star Wars Jedi Knight games, and Xmen Legends.

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psycros

Posts: 4,086   +5,627
A good friend of mine was a highly-respected engineer for a major educational software company and they told him - at the height of the housing bubble - that if he didn't move to a more urban area he'd lose his job. He did so, investing in a house. A year later every engineer in the company was outsourced and he had to take a major pay cut to stay in the industry. Never believe a word corporate says and remember that support personnel are always the first to get the axe. I hate to break it to these beleaguered employees but their jobs are probably the most replaceable of any in the tech sector. Its not that hard to get people up to speed on software testing. They'll either hire green college kids or outsource to Southeast Asia or India.
 

kiwigraeme

Posts: 992   +743
A good friend of mine was a highly-respected engineer for a major educational software company and they told him - at the height of the housing bubble - that if he didn't move to a more urban area he'd lose his job. He did so, investing in a house. A year later every engineer in the company was outsourced and he had to take a major pay cut to stay in the industry. Never believe a word corporate says and remember that support personnel are always the first to get the axe. I hate to break it to these beleaguered employees but their jobs are probably the most replaceable of any in the tech sector. Its not that hard to get people up to speed on software testing. They'll either hire green college kids or outsource to Southeast Asia or India.

As a kid I was always astounded watching american TV shows/movies how normalised it was for managers of various levels, skilled people to just up and move at a companies behest/promotion . These were people pulling kids from schools/friends/sports teams - I just didn't get it - still don't

proper relocations normally involve moving costs - often company would buy the house - to take hassle out of selling form those moving +extra money for accom on arrival until rehomed
 

ScottSoapbox

Posts: 299   +530
As a kid I was always astounded watching american TV shows/movies how normalised it was for managers of various levels, skilled people to just up and move at a companies behest/promotion . These were people pulling kids from schools/friends/sports teams - I just didn't get it - still don't

proper relocations normally involve moving costs - often company would buy the house - to take hassle out of selling form those moving +extra money for accom on arrival until rehomed
You don't pay relocation costs for a $17/hr employee. It's cheaper just to hire and train someone new.

Which is why you shouldn't relocate for a $17/hr job.

I'm not sure what American TV has to do with it. This is true anywhere.
 

DZillaXx

Posts: 505   +653
You don't pay relocation costs for a $17/hr employee. It's cheaper just to hire and train someone new.

Which is why you shouldn't relocate for a $17/hr job.

I'm not sure what American TV has to do with it. This is true anywhere.

" It's cheaper just to hire and train someone new. "

No it is not 90% of the time.

It is so hard to find good employees these days, you're better of keeping and bumping up the pay for the ones that have proven their worth....

 

bviktor

Posts: 797   +1,212
Oh no, people sometimes get laid off from corporations.

... who the hell cares. Grow up, people. This really is the snowflake generation.
 

waclark

Posts: 320   +211
As a kid I was always astounded watching american TV shows/movies how normalised it was for managers of various levels, skilled people to just up and move at a companies behest/promotion . These were people pulling kids from schools/friends/sports teams - I just didn't get it - still don't

proper relocations normally involve moving costs - often company would buy the house - to take hassle out of selling form those moving +extra money for accom on arrival until rehomed

Over the years I have made at least 4 major moves for a job. In all cases relocation costs were paid by the hiring company. This included paying for closing costs to buy and sell a home, travel expenses prior to the hire date to go house hunting, paying for the realtor and other miscellaneous costs.

This wouldn't be offered to a lower level person with an hourly wage position, but for most salaried jobs companies do pay for relocation (to some extent).
 

waclark

Posts: 320   +211
Oh no, people sometimes get laid off from corporations.

... who the hell cares. Grow up, people. This really is the snowflake generation.

LOL, especially when the economy is on unsteady ground. Inflation is going to hurt a lot of people both in terms of increasing prices but also in terms of lost jobs. You can't raise prices for ever and you can't keep people employed when your product cost too much to sell well.
 

ScottSoapbox

Posts: 299   +530
"You don't pay relocation costs for a $17/hr employee. It's cheaper just to hire and train someone new."

No it is not 90% of the time.

It is so hard to find good employees these days, you're better of keeping and bumping up the pay for the ones that have proven their worth....
I fixed your bad quoting of me as you are arguing something I didn't say.

Relocation costs are expensive. Movers. Temporary housing. Buying the employee's old house if it doesn't sell.

You don't pay for all that for an employee that makes $17/hr. They aren't valuable enough to the company to pay that added expense rather than just hiring and training someone in the new location. If they were more valuable to the company they would make more than $17/hr.
 

DZillaXx

Posts: 505   +653
I fixed your bad quoting of me as you are arguing something I didn't say.

Relocation costs are expensive. Movers. Temporary housing. Buying the employee's old house if it doesn't sell.

You don't pay for all that for an employee that makes $17/hr. They aren't valuable enough to the company to pay that added expense rather than just hiring and training someone in the new location. If they were more valuable to the company they would make more than $17/hr.
I'm sorry but most companies don't offer all of those services when asking employees to move locations. Most of the time the option is offered as a move or find a new job, choice is yours. Most of the time a bonus is offered, and some temp housing. But that would be it. Movers are one cost, most of these people are most likely renters, etc.

I know for a fact that this is how some large corporations handle this. I have friends and family that work for both GM and Chrysler. One of my friends was pretty much given the option to go work at the Iowa plant or get laid off until production was able to go back to normal with huge pay decrease. There was some temp living offered, but they were required to find their own place after a given amount of time. Only nice bit was a Bonus close to their monthly pay. No moving costs offered, nothing. Said friend packed everything he owned into a storage unit and cleaned his place out in under a week, and when he comes back home to see his daughter he says at his mothers.

Like I said it makes sense for an employer to offer continued employment for those willing to move. But you're idea on how companies deal with employee's changing locations is not really seen for even those making $45/hr. I've only see those perks for those making $200k+