Dec 9, 2021 - Technology

Activision Blizzard union efforts intensify

Call of Duty: Vanguard. Image: Activision Blizzard
Call of Duty: Vanguard. Image: Activision Blizzard

A workers group for employees of Activision Blizzard started a strike fund today and has begun distributing union authorization cards to the company’s employees.

Why it matters: The A Better ABK organization is no longer just hinting at trying to form what would become the first major video game developer union in the U.S. They’re doing it.

  • It’s another escalation of worker unrest that has followed allegations this past summer of years of sexual misconduct and workplace abuse at Activision Blizzard.

Details: The union news came via a morning Tweet and the launch of a GoFundMe meant to pay expenses for workers who strike.

  • Organizers soon let on that they’d begun sending union authorization cards.
  • At least 30% of the workforce will have to approve them in order to trigger a vote to unionize, according to National Labor Relations Board rules.
  • Workers have previously publicly asked Activision CEO Bobby Kotick if he would recognize a union but the question has gone unanswered.

As for the fund: Organizer Jessica Gonzalez, who recently left Blizzard, told Axios that it was created to help company workers who have been walking out since Monday to protest the ending of contracts for 20 game testers.

  • Organizers have said those workers had been misled by management about the stability of their roles.
  • Activision has said the move was necessary as part of a process that is converting 500 other temporary workers to full-time roles.
  • The GoFundMe target is $1 million; by midday, it was past $112,000.

In other Activision scandal news: The activist investors who’ve been pressuring Activision on pay and misconduct issues are calling on Coca-Cola to drop Kotick from its board when it comes time to nominate next year’s directors.

  • A rep for Coca-Cola declined to comment on that call from the SOC Investment Group, the New York Times reports.
  • SOC warns that it would call for a vote against multiple members of the board if Kotick doesn’t go.
Go deeper