Gaming giant Activision Blizzard is making headlines again as has been accused of union busting and workers intimidation, barely months after it gained quite a lot of negative publicity over a lawsuit claiming that it had harbored and supported a toxic workplace environment.
In August, the company, which has home to blockbuster labels including “World of Warcraft” and “Call of Duty,” had promised that it would do better, after the management underwent some major changes following shocking allegations of sexism, discrimination, and sexual harassment towards female employees.
Unfair Labor Practice Using Notorious Union Busters
However, on Tuesday, the Communications Workers of America (CWA) said that they had “formally filed ULP (unfair labor practice) charges” against the firm, accusing it of intimidating workers who attempted to unionize, and busting any unions already formed. In the statement, the Union has said that employees had initially launched a campaign called “Better ABK” in July, following their initial complaint which had been filed at Los Angeles Superior Court, and had accused Activision Blizzard of supporting a toxic workplace culture, and promoting sexism and harassment. The campaign, the Union believes, was a “strategic organizing effort” to bring developers together “behind a shared set of concerns.”
The CWA has said that Activision has been making use of “coercive tactics” to try and block its staff from “exercise their rights.” National Organizing Director Tom Smith has said that the company’s management could have opted for “humility and willingness,” by taking the requisite steps to tackle the claims that had been issued against it and its employees, instead of aggressively keeping an eye on, and intimidating, those who tried to unionize, by hiring “notorious union busters.”
Ghastly Claims and a Walkout
Just over a month ago, the company’s employees staged a walkout to show solidarity with the women who had made some very concerning claims about the firm’s work culture and environment. Activision’s male employees and supervisors have been accused of sexually harassing their female counterparts, including inappropriate touches and unwanted comments.
This was followed the state of California slamming the firm with a lawsuit backing the accusations made by its female staff. What came next was a major management shakeup, along with promises on the game-maker’s part of a thorough and far-reaching review into its workplace practices.
It remains to be seen what course the drama will take following the ULP charges by the CWA.