Activision Blizzard Worker's Group Announces Strike And Moves To Create A Union
The ABK Workers Alliance has formally announced plans to strike, seeks to create "lasting change" at the Call of Duty and Warcraft company.
Workers at Activision Blizzard are pushing ahead with an effort to unionize and strike. A worker's group within the company, ABK Workers Alliance, has formally announced the beginning of a strike. Additionally, workers are apparently being invited to sign documentation to signal their desire to form a union to collectively bargain with management at the Call of Duty and Warcraft company.
This is happening after Activision Blizzard confirmed plans to cut jobs at Call of Duty: Warzone developer Raven Software, which in turn prompted some to walk off the job. Activision Blizzard management reportedly told workers that they will not be paid after Wednesday this week following the strike.
Today, the ABK Worker's Alliance announces the initiation of its strike. We encourage our peers in the Game Industry to stand with us in creating lasting change. For those who wish to join in solidarity, please consider donating to our Strike Fund.https://t.co/IauGyxuLYG— ABetterABK 💙 ABK Workers Alliance (@ABetterABK) December 9, 2021
Reporter Shannon Liao of The Washington Post broke the story and shared details on Twitter. A strike is planned for today, December 9. GameSpot has contacted Activision Blizzard for more information.
Activision Blizzard employees are taking one more step towards unionization today, calling for workers across the company to sign union authorization cards in support of a union. They launched a GoFundMe page, with a goal of $1 million, to create funds for striking. Story to come— Shannon Liao (@Shannon_Liao) December 9, 2021
Management told employees they will not be paid for the walkout after Wednesday. Workers still plan to strike today. The strike fund is supposed to create financial security for those who choose to join.— Shannon Liao (@Shannon_Liao) December 9, 2021
A GoFundMe page with a $1 million goal has been established to help support workers who take part in the ongoing walkout and thus miss out on pay. The crowdfunding effort is being organized by Jessica Gonzalez, the former senior test analyst at Blizzard who recently resigned. At press time, more than 300 people have contributed more than $17,000 to the fund.
"We've seen CEO Bobby Kotick and the Board of Directors protect abusers and only hold perpetrators accountable after the events were brought to light by outside media," Gonzalez wrote. "We've seen Activision hire law firm WilmerHale, known for union busting, to disrupt and impede the improvement efforts of Activision-Blizzard workers. We've seen Raven Software workers lured by the promise of promotion, only to be terminated shortly after relocation on top of the already underappreciated and severely underpaid working conditions of ABK workers across the company. These, and many other events have caused an alliance of Activision-Blizzard employees to initiate a work stoppage until demands are met and worker representation is finally given a place within the company."
The ongoing situation at Activision Blizzard has been connected to The Game Awards, which take place this evening. Organizer Geoff Keighley has said Activision will not be a part of the event, and he shared further insight on Reddit recently, asking fans for help regarding the best way to go about discussing the topic during the show.
"It's certainly been so sad to read all the stories. I'm thinking about the right way to address this in the show and how we can help the situation for developers. Last week I said I was trying to navigate what to do or say and that became a whole story unto itself," he said. "The situation at Activision is terrible, but there's also a larger industry conversation to have. How do you guys think I should handle it? I realize I have a big platform and am just trying to figure out how best to help tbh."
A report said Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick knew about and covered up instances of sexual harassment and other abuse at the company. Hundreds of employees have called for him to resign. The Activision Blizzard board of directors continues to stand behind the CEO.
This happened in the wake of multiple lawsuits and other investigations into Activision Blizzard regarding harassment of women at the company. For more, check out a timeline of events.
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