(Oakland, California) - In support of game developers at Activision Blizzard King, a cross-platform gaming company based in Santa Monica, the Communications Workers of America (CWA) has formally filed ULP charges against the company for worker intimidation and union busting. ABK workers staged a groundbreaking walkout over the summer to draw attention to 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.
Despite a risk of retaliation, Activision Blizzard King workers launched A Better ABK on July 23rd as a strategic organizing effort to unite developers behind a shared set of concerns. Employees used their social media platforms to organize with one another and share their demands to the world - including fans, fellow game developers, and consumers.
Instead of responding to these demands, Activision Blizzard management is 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. It is their right as workers to organize for a work environment free from abuse, discrimination and sexual harassment, and this right is protected by federal labor law.
Tom Smith, national Organizing Director at CWA said, “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. 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. 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.”
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.