Another group of Activision-Blizzard workers has issued demands for corporate change


In just two months, we’ll be coming up on the first anniversary of the Activision-Blizzard scandal, and if you’re wondering which one, well, that’s part of the problem, as the last few years have been punctuated by several big ones and dozens of small ones, from the raging sexual harassment and discrimination lawsuit and unionbusting to female execs quitting in disgust and Bobby Kotick himself threatening to have a worker murdered.

And through it all, Activision-Blizzard workers have been organizing, some (successfully!) attempting to form a formal union while others agitate for change in different types of groups. One of those is a new committee formed by staffers, some of whom are involved in the lawsuits, who say the company still isn’t doing enough to support workers.

The Washington Post reports that the group’s demands include “workers being able to meet with the equal employment opportunity coordinator on diversity and inclusion initiatives, who was appointed as part of the federal sexual harassment settlement” as well as “ending undocumented chats with human resources [and] restricting retaliation against employees who file disputes and the institution of independent investigations around discrimination claims.” Trans rights, adequate parental leave, and better services for nursing mothers are also on the agenda; readers will recall that last year, workers made public the fact that ABK’s lactation rooms – mandated by the state of California – were poorly and insufficiently equipped and far from users’ offices as well as subject to intrusion by non-lactating workers and even theft of breastmilk. And the workers also want ABK to address online harassment from customers – that is to say, gamers.

Activision-Blizzard keeps sending out the same PR rep to make the same statements in response to WAPO’s articles; this time ’round, the company insists it’s already done some of the things the workers are demanding and is working on others. But whether employees are satisfied with the to degree to which their demands have already been met is another story. “[ABK has] given us the most basic of improvements and it feels like we have fought for those tooth and nail,” one QA tester told WAPO. “Stuff like contractors getting converted into full-time employees, stuff like the small raises we’ve gotten. That doesn’t feel like enough.”

Source: WAPO
Activision-Blizzard is considered a controversial gaming company owing to a long string of scandals over the last few years, including the Blitzchung boycott, mass layoffs, labor disputes, and executive pay fiasco. In 2021, the company was sued by California for fostering a work environment rife with sexual harassment and discrimination, the disastrous corporate response to which compounded Blizzard’s ongoing pipeline issues and the widespread perception that its online games are in decline. Multiple state and federal agencies are investigating the company as employees strike and call for Bobby Kotick’s resignation. As of 2022, the company is being acquired by no less than Microsoft.
Emily Knief, one of the workers on the above-mentioned committee attempting to pressure ABK to act on worker demands, says that the press coverage has worked and that “there’s already action underway” from ABK.

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