Close to 900 Activision Blizzard employees are organizing in Blizzard's Slack channel to put together a list of demands for improved employment conditions. The development of the story follows recent reports of Blizzard employees sharing an internal spreadsheet with their wages and pay increases, which revealed many of the company's workers are struggling to make ends meet.
In 2019, Blizzard told its employees that it'll be making changes to compensation after a study found out that more than half of the staff is unhappy with their working conditions and compensation. The implemented change, however, has been insufficient, Blizzard staffers told Bloomberg, with most of the raises being below 10%, much lower than people anticipated. Bloomberg furthermore reported that company employees working the lower-tier, support jobs like community managers and game testers, tend to make below-median wage for the otherwise very expensive area of Irvine, California, where Blizzard HQ resides. The solution for some was to cut down on essential costs, like rent or food, and living on the company cafeteria free coffee.
This is why Blizzard employees have decided to take action. Their list of demands, which they plan to bring to management this week, includes requests for more adequate pay raises and more vacation time. And according to their statement, Blizzard is willing to at least listen.
“We will continue to adapt our compensation to build and keep the workforce our company needs today and tomorrow. We understand that some Blizzard employees have specific requests, and we look forward to hearing from them directly,” a company spokesperson told Bloomberg.
While the statement gives no guarantees or promises and negotiations are still to happen, this is a chance for Blizzard to repair its deteriorated public image and earn some faith with its workers. The company has been under PR fire for the past few years, with some of its incidents including the abrupt cancellation of Heroes of the Storm's HGC circuit and the "unsustainable workload" connected with it; the widespread outcry against Diablo: Immortal; the company's lay-off of 800 of its employees last year; the ban on Hearthstone player Ng "blitzchung" Wai Chung over Hong Kong statement; and the very rocky launch of Warcraft III: Reforged.
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