It seems the situation at Activision-Blizzard continues to spiral downwards for a company that was once considered by Fortune to be in the top 100 companies to work for. In case you need a quick refresher, back in July the Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) sued Activision-Blizzard for its “Frat Boy” culture, which led to multiple firings, a new policy that forbade any of their characters to be named by employees, the formation of the ABK Workers Alliance, and the company hiring infamous union busters WilmerHale. All of which you can read here. With that, you are caught up so let’s get to the recent news.
As formerly mentioned, Activision-Blizzard hired the same union busters Amazon used, WilmerHale. This prompted scrutiny from the ABK Coalition, a gathering of employees across multiple studios, and which led to today’s update that they are filing an unfair labor practice against the company with help from The Communications Workers of America, a major labor union. They accuse Activision-Blizzard of intimidation and union busting all to stop them from, ironically, starting a union by using “coercive tactics”.
In a statement from CWA organizing director Tom Smith, given to The Washington Post, he said “Management could have responded with humility and a willingness to take necessary steps to address the horrid conditions some [Activision-Blizzard] workers have faced. Instead, Activision-Blizzard’s response to righteous worker activity was surveillance, intimidation and hiring notorious union busters.”
The lawsuit was filed in California with the National Labor Relations Board, saying that Activision-Blizzard threatened employees, interrogated them, surveyed them, and promised benefits in efforts to stop unionization.
In an update just before this article was released, Activision-Blizzard announced that they were hiring former Disney and Delta Airlines execs. Julie Hodges, formerly a senior vice president, corporate HR and compensation, benefits and talent acquisition from Disney will take over as Chief Police Officer as of September 21st, replacing Claudine Naughton. Sandeep Dube, formerly a senior vice president of revenue at Delta Airlines will take over as Chief Commercial Officer as of September 27th. Whether these changes benefit the employees of Activision-Blizzard is up to anyone’s guess.