Communications Workers of America Files Second Unfair Labor Practice Charges Against Activision Blizzard Over Threatening Employee’s Protected Speech

Friday, April 29, 2022

(Washington D.C) — The Communications Workers of America (CWA) has filed a second unfair labor practice charge against Activision for telling workers that they could not discuss issues related to the sexual harassment and discrimination lawsuit filed by state of California against the company. Under the National Labor Relations Act, employees have the right to discuss matters relating to wages, hours, and working conditions.

In this case, a worker had posted an article about the discrimination lawsuit against the company to a departmental Slack channel along with the observation that Activision continues to show a lack of concern for the well-being of employees. The employee urged other Activision workers to hold the company accountable for its behavior.

“Activision Blizzard’s pattern of retaliation against workers who speak out has only strengthened our resolve to ensure stronger protections and a seat at the table for employees in the game industry. This is not the first time a worker has been threatened for discussing concerns about sexual harassment. The company used similar tactics during my tenure when I spoke about the misconduct I experienced on the job, as well. It is unfortunate that Activision continues to take the low road, but my hope is that everyone in the video game community understands how having a union on the job can encourage a workplace free from harassment and discrimination, which translates to better video games.” – Former Blizzard Senior Test Analyst Jessica Gonzalez

Last September, CWA formally filed ULP charges against the company for worker intimidation and union busting on behalf of Activision employees. Activision workers had staged multiple walkouts to protest the disturbing working conditions in the gaming industry at large including, but not limited to, ableist, racist, and sexist cultural practices, workplace discrimination, and pay inequity. In response, Activision Blizzard management used coercive tactics to attempt to prevent its employees from exercising their rights to stand together and demand a more equitable, sustainable, and diverse workplace.

Furthermore, weeks after Raven QA workers formed Game Workers Alliance (GWA-CWA), Activision launched an anti-union campaign, spending thousands of dollars on notorious union-busting consultants to thwart their organizing efforts. The group of workers filed a petition with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) for a union election after Activision refused to voluntarily recognize GWA-CWA. After weeks of court hearings and deliberation, the NLRB ruled in favor of quality assurance workers at Raven Software, stating they are in fact eligible to participate in a union election.

The ULP filing can be found here.

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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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