Activision Blizzard employees just took some big steps towards unionization. The publishing giant has been in turmoil over the last few months, as non-stop allegations of sexual harassment and discrimination have surfaced since July. Activision’s handling of the situation has prompted employees to demand changes, including CEO Bobby Kotkick’s resignation. Meanwhile, employees at subsidiary Raven Software walked out of work on Monday and have been protesting ever since. In support of this effort, Activision employees have launched a strike fund. Additionally, they’re working with Communications Workers of America to sign union authorization cards.
Activision workers on strike
Raven Software employees (as well as others in support of their cause) walked out on Monday after surprise layoffs hit 30% of the QA team. Activision initially allowed these employees to protest without loss of pay, but as the strike has continued into its fourth day, Activision has informed them they will no longer be paid. As such, a Go Fund Me has been set up as a strike fund for those participating.
This is the third walkout staged by Activision employees in recent months, and the longest one thus far. Raven Software workers are calling for Activision to hire all of them full-time, including those who are scheduled to be laid off.
Union authorization cards
Meanwhile, Activision employees are also attempting to form a union. The A Better ABK Workers Alliance is partnering with media labor union Communications Workers of America to get signatures on union authorization cards. CWA organizing director Tom Smith issued the following condemnation of the company’s practices.
Activision Blizzard just continues to show us all how to not effectively manage a business. And, as a longtime Blizzard player, it breaks my heart and as a trade unionist, it’s pretty infuriating, but I think this latest controversy at Raven is, again, entirely self-inflicted on management’s part. Their only path forward for this company is to meet the righteous demands laid out in the original walkout and committed to higher labor standards, which center workers having a meaningful voice and all company matters.
If 30% of a workforce signs union authorization cards, that workforce can partner with the National Labor Relations Board to conduct an election. If a majority then votes in favor of a union, the NLRB will certify that union as the official representation for collective bargaining.