Blizzard’s Proletariat ends bid to unionize after unionbusting tactics succeed


Activision-Blizzard’s latest efforts to head off worker unions were apparently successful: Union group Communication Workers of America has ended its bid to launch a union vote at the Blizzard-owned Proletariat studio.

The group puts the blame on Proletariat’s own boss, CEO Seth Sivak. “Sivak chose to follow Activision-Blizzard’s lead and responded to the workers’ desire to form a union with confrontational tactics,” CWA declares in today’s statement. “Like many founders, he took the workers’ concerns as a personal attack and held a series of meetings that demoralized and disempowered the group, making a free and fair election impossible.”

Proletariat, which Blizzard bought and put to work on World of Warcraft last summer, saw its workers announce their unionization bid just after Christmas 2022, having secured a supermajority of union cards at the studio. The announcement was immediately followed by Proletariat leadership and Activision management refusing neutrality discussions and holding anti-union meetings while insisting that its goal was to ensure all voices were heard, as if nobody had been watching ABK’s unionbusting efforts play out at Blizzard Albany and Raven Software over the last two years and as if the National Labor Board hadn’t already found that Activision-Blizzard illegally threatened and retaliated against unionizing workers at Raven. Proletariat’s worker group, however, is the first to get this far not succeed in its efforts.

It’s one more tick of ruinous news for Activision-Blizzard this week, as its failed partnership with NetEase led to the demise of almost all of Blizzard’s games in China yesterday, and then last night we learned that objections to Blizzard’s toxic evaluation policies had led to the ousting of one of World of Warcraft’s key lead devs, Brian Birmingham.

Source: GIbiz. Cheers, Greaterdivinity.
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 unionize and call for Bobby Kotick’s resignation. As of 2023, the company is being acquired by no less than Microsoft.
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