Activision Blizzard staff file lawsuit accusing company of union-busting and worker intimidation

Activision Blizzard office

Pressure group ABetterABK has filed a lawsuit against Activision Blizzard for unfair labour practices.

The lawsuit has been filed with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) in the U.S. with the support of the Communication Workers of America guild (CWA), and alleges union-busting and intimidation of workers.

The ABetterABK group of current and former employees accuse Activision Blizzard of “using coercive tactics to attempt to prevent its employees from exercising their rights to stand together and demand a more equitable, sustainable, and diverse workplace.”

Activision Blizzard has allegedly threatened employees, prevented them from discussing working conditions, and “maintained an overly broad social media policy”.

What’s more, the lawsuit claims that the company has engaged in surveillance and enforced its policy against employees who “engaged in protected concerted activity”, a term that generally means two or more employees acting together to improve their terms and conditions of employment.

“It is their right as workers to organize for a work environment free from abuse, discrimination and sexual harassments, and this right is protected by federal labor law,” reads a statement from ABetterABK and CWA.

According to an anonymous employee speaking to Vice, some outspoken employees are being coerced to leave. As a result many employees remain silent for fear of losing their jobs.

The mood among employees in the pressure group is hopeful, but also think that change won’t come directly from leadership.

The group has already shared on social media that leadership have failed to acknowledge their demands for change.

Sharing the news of the lawsuit on Twitter, ABetterABK said “If the NLRB rules in our favor, the ruling will be retroactive and we will set a precedent that no worker in the US can be intimidated out of talking about forced arbitration.”

The pressure group was set up in the wake of a sexual harassment lawsuit filed against Activision Blizzard by the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing.

Employees at Activision Blizzard penned an open letter to senior management and staged a walkout in protest.

Activision Blizzard has fired three of their top designers and the head of Blizzard, J. Allen Brack, stepped down from his position.

And within gaming content, the Overwatch character Jesse McCree is set to be renamed (having been named after a disgraced designer) and problematic references in World of Warcraft have been altered.

However, no long term systemic changes in the company have been made.

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