In a shock announcement, it was revealed yesterday that Activision Blizzard is once again facing a fresh lawsuit. This will be the second lawsuit leveled against the Californian company in just three months. In July, Activision Blizzard faced damning allegations of sexual harassment, inequality, and a ‘frat boy’ internal culture.
Now, Activision Blizzard stands accused of further abhorrent acts. There have been allegations of intimidation, union-busting, and the use of coercive tactics. Reportedly, Activision Blizzard is fighting back against employee action with malicious intent, attempting to use strike-breaking firms to bring an end to staff walkouts.
In July, to raise awareness and to protest against AB’s actions, hundreds of employees staged a mass walkout. In response, AB brought in the law firm WilmerHale, a company that specialises in preventing staff from unionising. According to the allegations leveled against Activision Blizzard, this was just the start of a long and troublesome road.
Activision Blizzard Suppressing The Masses
In an official press release from the CWA, the Communications Workers of America, it was stated:
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.
Further to this statement, the CWA went on to explain that Activision Blizzard stands accused of using surveillance tactics in its fight against its own employees. This release went as far as to condemn the working conditions that some AB staff were facing, describing them as ‘horrid’.
A little under a month ago, we reported on the sexual harassment and inequality claims leveled against Activision Blizzard. In response to these opening allegations, and following a two-year investigation, Activision Blizzard had little to offer employees. There was a response posted by AB management that was categorically labeled as ‘tone deaf’ by CEO Bobby Kotick.
Following that action, more than 2,000 Activision employees stood united and signed a petition. Now, more than a month later, we’re still yet to see any reparations having been made by Activision Blizzard.
Stacking The Allegations
In the most recent lawsuit filed, there were specific allegations made against Activision Blizzard.
Reportedly, Activision Blizzard has directly threatened employees, stating that they cannot communicate about wages, hours, and working conditions. Furthermore, they’ve attempted to silence those talking about ongoing investigations concerning these areas.
Bizarrely, one of the claims made in the lawsuit reads as a remarkably aggressive move on the part of Activision Blizzard. In the document, it was claimed that AB is ‘engaged in interrogation of employees about protected concerted activity.’
Ultimately, the employee demands call for revisions to the recruitment and hiring processes, an audit of policies, and salary transparency. However, while these lawsuits persist, Activision Blizzard seems almost unwilling to make a comment or take any positive action. As times goes on, these lawsuits are undoubtedly going to harm Activision Blizzard, which remains one of the largest organisers of esports tournaments in the industry.
The story continues to unfold.