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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

Lawsuit against PlayStation alleges gender discrimination

Photo Illustration: Pavlo Gonchar/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

A former IT security analyst at Sony PlayStation filed a lawsuit against the company in California on Monday, alleging gender discrimination and wrongful termination after speaking up “about discrimination against females” at the gaming giant.

Why it matters: Video game companies are under increased scrutiny for their treatment of women in an industry long dominated by men.

Kendall Baker, author of Sports
Updated 4 mins ago - Sports

College football gone mad

Former Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly walks in front of his players. Photo: David Madison/Getty Images

In the span of two days, the head coaches of two of the biggest college football programs in America have jumped ship, wooed by even greater challenges — and the almighty dollar.

Driving the news: Lincoln Riley is ditching Oklahoma for USC in a deal reportedly worth $110 million. LSU poached Brian Kelly from Notre Dame with a reported 10-year, $100 million contract.

Media startups anxiously await BuzzFeed’s stock market debut

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Digital media companies considering going public are watching BuzzFeed's expected stock market debut next week to see how investors will respond.

Why it matters: A slowdown in SPACs (special purpose acquisition companies) earlier this year pushed some digital media companies that were considering going public via SPAC IPOs away from the idea, such as Vice.