Activision Blizzard’s turbulent summer is not over yet, as the company now faces another major lawsuit, presented in this case by the company’s own employees such as the Communications Workers of America (CWA) union. The explosive discrimination lawsuit filed against Activision Blizzard in July has prompted some actions by employees at the non-union publisher, including a one-day strike and the founding of A better ABK, which aims to advocate for better working conditions.
The next logical step could be full unionisation, but according to the CWA, Activision Blizzard has tried to nip that in the bud “by monitoring employees, questioning them, making threats and promising benefits.” The CWA also criticized Acti-Blizz’s hiring of law firm WilmerHale to conduct an audit, as they have earned a reputation for being more concerned with preventing unionization than uncovering wrongdoing. CWA Organizational Director Tom Smith was relentless in his assessment of Acti-Blizz’s behavior…
Management could have responded with humility and a willingness to take the necessary steps to address the dire conditions that some [Activision Blizzard] the workers have clashed. Instead, Activision Blizzard’s response to fair labor activity was surveillance, intimidation, and the hiring of notorious union busters.
Of course, the CWA has a dog in this fight, but regardless of whether you are pro-union or not, the kind of heavy-handed coercion they describe is not something any employee should have to deal with. Activision Blizzard has yet to publicly respond to this story. Like all lawsuits you are currently facing, this one will have its day in court.
For those who haven’t kept up, the California Department of Housing and Fair Employment (DFEH) has filed a lawsuit against Activision Blizzard, alleging gender discrimination and sexual harassment in the Call of Duty and World of Warcraft editorial. . Activision Blizzard’s official response to the lawsuit accuses the DFEH of “distorting […] and false “descriptions and insists that the painted picture” is not the Blizzard workplace of today. ” An open letter objecting to the official response was signed by thousands of current and former Acti-Blizz employees, prompting a workers’ strike. Acti-Blizz CEO Bobby Kotick would eventually apologize for the company’s initial response, calling it “deaf.” Several high-ranking Blizzard employees, including former President J. Allen Brack and Diablo IV and World of Warcraft team leaders, have resigned or been fired, and their names for certain characters have been removed.