Activision Blizzard's union-busting allegedly included surveilling protesting workers

Washington DC - New charges are aimed at Activision Blizzard (ABK), the gaming company behind the Call of Duty franchise, putting the publisher in even more legal hot water for its union-busting efforts.

Activision Blizzard is accused of surveilling its protesting workers.
Activision Blizzard is accused of surveilling its protesting workers.  © Collage: REUTERS, Unsplash/Lianhao Qu

The Communications Workers of America (CWA) filed charges with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) claiming Activision Blizzard illegally surveilled protesting game workers and cut off access to company chat channels, per endgadget.

The CWA filing urges the NLRB to focus on new examples of Activision Blizzard's fight against its own workers' right to organize and communicate about unionizing, wages, and working conditions.

"Activision Blizzard has spent the last year violating U.S. labor law and using intimidation tactics to deter workers from organizing for better wages and respect on the job. These union-busting tricks have only strengthened Activision workers' resolve to exercise their rights and transform the video game industry for the better," said Tom Smith, CWA national organizing director.

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"Despite our many attempts to negotiate in good faith, Activision Blizzard has doubled down on their anti-worker behavior. We are confident the National Labor Relations Board will recognize that Activision is engaged in a systematic campaign to undermine the law and protect these workers’ rights to organize without interference from union-busting managers."

Activision Blizzard denies union-busting allegations

ABK told endgadget the only staff who oversaw the walkouts were PR employees who stayed a "respectful distance" away from the protesters in order to answer media inquiries.

Despite assurances from the publisher that it had moved past its union-busting days, it still has the notorious union-busting law firm Reed Smith on its payroll, and didn't voluntarily recognize a new union in its workforce, the Albany Game Workers Alliance.

The new charges of union-busting would be par for the course with Activision Blizzard, as the company has a documented track record of fighting workers' rights.

Cover photo: Collage: REUTERS, Unsplash/Lianhao Qu

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