Activision Blizzard faces further legal action as employees organized under ABetterABK partnered with the Communications Workers of America (CWA) to file a new lawsuit over unfair labor practices. The suit accuses Activision Blizzard of violating federal labor laws through intimidation and union busting.
In a press release from the CWA, the union alleges that Activision Blizzard management is retaliating against employee efforts to organize by "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." Workers from Activision Blizzard began advocating for better working conditions following a July lawsuit filed by the state of California Department of Fair Employment and Housing for its "pervasive frat boy workplace culture."
Employees staged a walkout the week following the DFEH filing, demanding "official statements that recognize the seriousness of these allegations and demonstrate compassion for victims" in an open letter. A representative from ABetterABK says a favorable ruling in this new suit will establish legal precedent to prevent employees from being "intimidated out of talking about forced arbitration."
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.— ABetterABK (@ABetterABK) September 14, 2021
Activision Blizzard addressed claims of sexual harassment, sexism, and racism in a statement from CEO Bobby Kotick. In that same response, Activision Blizzard acknowledged its partnership with WilmerHale—a law firm hired to stop employees from unionizing at Amazon. SOC Investment Group, which holds shares in Activision Blizzard, criticized the company for its response to the allegations and partnership with WilmerHale.
California's DFEH lawsuit has been amended since its original filing. The lawsuit's new scope includes temporary and contract workers hired at Activision Blizzard, which will allow testimony from workers not mentioned in its original documentation. The DFEH also now alleges that Activision Blizzard has not cooperated with its investigation and has gone as far as to destroy related documents filed with HR personnel.
Executive management's response to the lawsuit has drawn harsh criticisms across the board. Chief compliance officer Frances Townsend recently stepped down from her position as executive sponsor of the Activision Blizzard Women's Network after she blocked employees on Twitter for criticizing her Tweet that shared an article about the "problem with whistleblowing."
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