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Activision Blizzard Continues to Ignore Labor Law by Illegally Surveilling Workers and Shutting Down Protected Speech

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(Washington D.C) — The Communications Workers of America (CWA) has filed an unfair labor practice charge against Activision Blizzard claiming that it engaged in illegal surveillance of workers during the July walkout to end gender inequity, cut off access to a chat channel where workers were discussing wages, hours and working conditions, and threatened to shut down other internal channels of communication where workers discussed labor issues.

Earlier this year, CWA filed a charge against Activision for telling workers that they could not discuss issues related to the sexual harassment and discrimination lawsuit filed by the state of California against the company. In May, the National Labor Relations Board found that the company illegally threatened workers and enforced a social media policy that prevented them from exercising their rights.

The complaint highlights examples of Activision Blizzard’s continued efforts to undermine and suppress workers’ right to organize. Under the National Labor Relations Act, employees have the right to discuss matters relating to wages, hours, and working conditions. The company has also retained notorious union-busting firm Reed Smith and is currently refusing to voluntarily recognize the Albany Game Workers Alliance/CWA union, a group of quality assurance testers at the company’s location in Albany, N.Y.

“Activision Blizzard has spent the last year violating U.S. labor law and using intimidation tactics to deter workers from organizing for better wages and respect on the job. These union-busting tricks have only strengthened Activision workers' resolve to exercise their rights and transform the video game industry for the better,” said Tom Smith, CWA national organizing director. “Despite our many attempts to negotiate in good faith, Activision Blizzard has doubled down on their anti-worker behavior. We are confident the National Labor Relations Board will recognize that Activision is engaged in a systematic campaign to undermine the law and protect these workers’ rights to organize without interference from union-busting managers.”


The Campaign to Organize Digital Employees (CODE-CWA) is an initiative by the Communications Workers of America (CWA) supporting workers’ organizing efforts in the technology and game industries.

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