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CWA rescinds three Unfair Labor Practice charges against Activision Blizzard

The labor union also slammed recent comments made by Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick.

Chris Kerr, News Editor

June 2, 2023

2 Min Read
A photograph of Activision Blizzard's HQ

The Communications Workers of America (CWA) has withdrawn three Unfair Labor Practice (ULP) charges it filed against Activision Blizzard because the publisher agreed to post a company-wide notice informing workers of their unionization rights and rescinded disciplinary action that was taken against one employee.

The CWA said it filed those three ULPs because of concerns over "company interference with and surveillance of protected concerted activity," and claimed the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) "found merit" with those charges.

Although three ULPs have been withdrawn by the CWA, others remain active.

Active unfair labor practices charges against Activision

"The ULPs that remain active include a charge of firing workers in retaliation for union organizing–one of the most serious violations of labor law," said a CWA spokesperson. "The active ULPs also include Activision's attempts to derail organizing by workers at its Raven studio by shifting work, denying the workers raises that were provided to non-organized workers across the country.

"The company has also been found to have withheld benefits and solicited grievances in violation of the National Labor Relations Act."

In a statement sent to Game Developer, the CWA also slammed Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick for refusing to take responsibility for the "toxic" culture at Activision Blizzard in a recent Variety profilewhich was also scrutinized by Game Developer senior editor Bryant Francis

The CWA said that instead of accepting some accountability, Kotick chose to blame workers and journalists for "destabilizing" the company, and suggested his latest remarks were nothing but "bluster." The group does, however, feel there are some signs of positive change at Activision Blizzard.

"Workers are currently at the bargaining table at Raven and at Blizzard Albany, where recently the company and the union have begun to reach tentative agreements that lay the groundwork for future progress," continued the CWA. "Kotick's statements to the press run the risk of undermining this productive process. What happens next is up to Activision Blizzard."

Update (06/07/2023): An Activision Blizzard spokesperson has responded to the CWA in a statement sent to Game Developer, and says the company is "committed to good faith bargaining" with employees seeking to unionize. 

"We respect the rights of employees to make their own decisions about joining a union and we’re committed to good faith bargaining in Albany," reads the statement. "Those conversations, while early, have been amiable and productive. We’re also glad that the CWA withdrew three of their complaints, as we’re confident in the decisions we’ve made on behalf of employee safety and wellbeing."

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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