The Communications Workers of America (CWA), a labor union for communications and media workers in the United States, has formally filed unfair labor practice charges against Activision Blizzard King on behalf of the companies employees.
The CWA is alleging that ABK engaged in worker intimidation and union-busting practices in response to the employee's efforts to organize for better working conditions over the past summer following the revelation of the highly publicized gender discrimination lawsuit against Activision Blizzard filed by the State of California earlier this year.
According to the CWA press release on Tuesday, after ABK workers launched their initiative A Better ABK in July in an effort to united developers against poor working conditions at Activision Blizzard, Activision Blizzard management subjected them to "coercive tactics" designed to "prevent its employees from exercising their rights to stand together and demand a more equitable, sustainable, and diverse workplace."
“We are very inspired by the bravery of ABK workers, and we will always stand shoulder to shoulder with workers fighting harassment, assault, and discrimination," said Tom Smith, National Organizing Director at the CWA. "Management could have responded with humility and a willingness to take necessary steps to address the horrid conditions some ABK workers have faced. Instead Activision Blizzard’s response to righteous worker activity was surveillance, intimidation, and hiring notorious union busters."
He continued, "the National Labor Relations Board under the Biden Administration has made it clear that it will hold companies accountable whenever they break the law; we have filed these charges to ensure that the actions of ABK management will not go unanswered.”
In their press release, The CWA cited numerous alleged working condition violations that ABK workers are to address, including ableism, sexism, racism, workplace discrimination, and pay inequality.
These new charges from the CWA come on the heels of the very high-profile lawsuit against Activision Blizzard that was filed by the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing on July 20th. That lawsuit alleges a myriad of workplace abuses and harassment that targetted primarily, but solely, at women in the workplace. Their allegations include pay discrimination, assignment discrimination, promotion discrimination, termination discrimination, sexual harassment, and other forms of gendered workplace abuse and retaliation.
That lawsuit has lead to widespread fallout, including Activision Blizzard's own investors suing them, sponsors leaving AB esports, large worker protests against the company, and numerous employees including the former CEO J. Allen Brack of Blizzard, being removed from their positions at the company.
For a full timeline of the Activision Blizzard lawsuit, click here.
Aaron is an esports reporter with a background in media, technology, and communication education.