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"Call of Duty: Vanguard." Image: Activison

A union supporting workers at Activision Blizzard has filed an unfair labor practice complaint to the National Labor Relations Board, alleging the game company has “repeatedly engaged in unlawful conduct” against workers fighting against working conditions at the game maker.

Why it matters: It’s another log on the fire. Activision is already facing an anti-discrimination lawsuit from the state of California, has seen workers hold a walkout and been slammed by activist shareholders for an “inadequate” response.

Between the lines: In its filing to the NLRB, the Communication Workers of America says Activision Blizzard has threatened employees to not discuss pay or working conditions.

  • The CWA also says the game company “engaged in surveillance” of workers who were doing protected activity.
  • “We care deeply about our employees’ rights and have made great efforts to respect the rights of all employees under the NLRB,” an Activision rep told Axios.
  • Axios reported last month that a current employee of Blizzard was asked by an in-house recruiter to tone down her criticism of the company. It’s unknown if that incident is among those being cited to the NLRB.

Activision also announced two executive hires yesterday, including a new head of people ops, Julie Hodges.

  • The Disney veteran will replace Claudine Naughton, who joined the company in 2019 and served as the head of HR. A company rep said Naughton’s departure was not related to the California lawsuit.
  • Delta Airlines veteran Sandeep Dube will join as the company’s chief commercial officer.

Go deeper

Updated Oct 20, 2021 - Politics & Policy

First look: Harris wants more union membership in fed workforce

Vice President Kamala Harris speaks at a virtual town hall with Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) on Oct. 14. Photo: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

Vice President Kamala Harris and Labor Secretary Marty Walsh will today announce new guidelines to encourage federal workers to join unions, according to a White House official.

Why it matters: The Biden administration wants to bolster the collective bargaining power of workers across the country – and they are starting at home, with changes in the federal workforce.

Oct 20, 2021 - Health

New York City announces COVID vaccine mandate for all public workers

A health care worker administering a dose of the COVID-19 vaccine to a student in Staten Island in August. Photo: Jeenah Moon/Bloomberg via Getty Images

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio on Wednesday announced an expanded COVID-19 vaccine mandate that covers all of the city's public employees, including police officers and firefighters.

Why it matters: Around 71% of city workers have already satisfied the mandate by receiving at least one dose. The remaining 46,000 unvaccinated employees will have to receive their first dose by Oct. 29 or will risk being placed on unpaid leave until they can show proof of a first dose, the Wall Street Journal reported.

John Deere strikers want to reclaim labor’s lost bargaining power

Workers strike outside the John Deere Des Moines Works facility in Ankeny, Iowa on Friday. Photo: Rachel Mummey/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The strike at John Deere is the biggest of the pandemic era, with 10,000 workers on the picket line calling for better pay and benefits.

Why it matters: The walkout could deal a blow to an economy rattled by a supply chain crisis that executives don't want to see get worse — one of the economic tailwinds behind the strikers.