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CWA accuses Activision QA supplier Lionbridge of retaliatory layoffs

The company allegedly ousted 160 workers after they organized in search of better working conditions.

Chris Kerr, News Editor

June 11, 2024

1 Min Read
A promotional photo for Lionbridge's testing services
Image via Lionbridge

The original version of this story referenced a quote that CWA sent out in error referencing an individual's experience. We've updated the story to reflect the corrected CWA press release.

U.S. labor union the Communications Workers of America (CWA) has filed Unfair Labor Practice (ULP) charges against Lionbridge Technologies for allegedly laying off 160 people after they attempted to organize.

Lionbridge is a Microsoft supplier that has provided QA services to Activision. The CWA previously helped workers at both Activision Blizzard and Microsoft unionize.

Now, the union has filed ULP charges with the National Labor Relations board and claims Lionbridge laid off its entire team in Boise, Idaho, after they engaged in "protected organizing activities and protected speech" when attempting to raise concerns about their working conditions.

It's claimed that Lionbridge offered impacted workers a severance package that required them to agree to "overly broad" confidentiality terms and waive rights protected under the National Labor Relations Act. The NLRB website confirms that practice is unlawful.

"Workers were told that the reason for their termination was that the project had ended. However, other teams working on the same project in Mexico and Poland continue to work," added the CWA in a press release.

Previous layoffs point to alleged union busting

Lionbridge previously laid off union members in Bellevue, Washington, in 2016 (thanks GeekWire) shortly after they finalized a collectively-bargained contract. The CWA described those layoffs as obvious "union-busting."

Game Developer has reached out to Lionbridge and Microsoft for comment.

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About the Author(s)

Chris Kerr

News Editor, GameDeveloper.com

Game Developer news editor Chris Kerr is an award-winning journalist and reporter with over a decade of experience in the game industry. His byline has appeared in notable print and digital publications including Edge, Stuff, Wireframe, International Business Times, and PocketGamer.biz. Throughout his career, Chris has covered major industry events including GDC, PAX Australia, Gamescom, Paris Games Week, and Develop Brighton. He has featured on the judging panel at The Develop Star Awards on multiple occasions and appeared on BBC Radio 5 Live to discuss breaking news.

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