This week, Activision Blizzard finds itself on the wrong end of yet more litigation, this time from the Communications Workers of America organization (CWA). The CWA has aided Activision Blizzard employees such as the Raven Software QA team in organizing unions and fighting for better employee conditions and representation within the company. However, this time, the CWA has lodged a labor complaint against Activision Blizzard, alleging that communications executive Lulu Cheng Meservey disparaged unions and threatened to withhold pay raises and benefit improvements over union organizations via Slack messages.
The CWA formally announced its complaint against Activision Blizzard via its Twitter, alleging unfair labor practice charges against the company.
“Last week [the week of October 17, 2022], Meservey sent a company-wide Slack message disparaging the union, making threats to withhold raises and benefit improvements from workers who joined the union, and giving workers an impression that their union affiliation and/or support was under surveillance,” the CWA wrote.
The CWA goes on to claim that while Meservey claimed there was an open door policy in place, workers were denied the opportunity to discuss the situation in most cases.
“Although Meservey called for ‘direct dialogue’ in her rant, most staff were prevented from directly responding in the Slack channel,” the thread continues.
“To be clear, a one-way channel where management force feeds workers information does not create dialogue between workers and higher ups,” CWA Secretary-Treasurer Sara Steffens added. “The only vehicle that can give workers a legally-protected seat at the table and a voice on the job is a union.”
Activision Blizzard has allegedly pushed hard, and as behind closed doors as possible, to disparage and block union organization, it wasn’t able to keep Raven Software QA from organizing and being recognized by Microsoft following its organization, nor has it kept Blizzard Albany (formally Vicarious Visions) from organizing a union vote as well.
As Activision Blizzard scrambles to keep all of its ducks in a row, the foundation of the company continues to look shaky amid piling allegations of mismanagement, sexual harassment, and anti-worker practices. With the Microsoft acquisition of Activision Blizzard looming, it remains to be seen what happens in the time between as Bobby Kotick and the board behind him continue to steer the ship.