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Activision Blizzard employees to walk out again on July 21

Activision Blizzard workers are demanding protections from threats both external and (allegedly) internal.

Bryant Francis, Senior Editor

July 6, 2022

2 Min Read
Blizzard employees gather in front of company headquarters.

Activision Blizzard employees will be staging another walkout on July 21, both in response to the company's response to the overturning of Roe v. Wade and what it is describing as "internal threats" that workers still face even after the company settled a high-profile lawsuit from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. 

In the late-July walkout, employees will be demanding "protection of several communities of marginalized workers," specifically those who live in states where local legislation is targeting women and LGBTQ employees, particularly with the recent overturning of Roe v. Wade by the U.S. Supreme Court.

"The company's current healthcare policies do not adequately protect the workers of [Activision Blizzard]," the group wrote in its announcement. "The presently offered $4,000 reimbursements for out of state medical care currently leave employees open to legal prosecution in their home state. Travel reimbursements do not remove workers from imminent danger."

The group notes that it has "attempted to work with management" on these issues, but it claims it has had its concerns dismissed in the last year.

Additionally, A Better ABK claims that employees are still facing attempts to railroad them into arbitration, and that the company has been allegedly "actively engaged in union busting," and that employees have faced harassment and intimidation for organizing. 

This two-pronged set of demands comes shortly after the employee-led Committee Against Sex and Gender Discrimination released its demands of Activision Blizzard leadership to the public. The company's statements to media outlets (insisting many of said demands had been met) are also an apparent point of complaint from worker organization group A Better ABK.

This will be the third in-person walkout from Activision Blizzard employees in a year (fourth overall if you count a virtual walkout held to protest the company's lifting of its vaccine mandate at in-person workplaces). The first walkout was driven by a lawsuit against Activision Blizzard filed by the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing, alleging a widespread culture of sexual harassment, abuse, and discrimination.

The second walkout followed a Wall Street Journal report that allegedly implicated company leaders (including CEO Bobby Kotick) of participating in or covering up said harassment.

Activision Blizzard of course, is also in the process of being acquired by Microsoft for $68.7 billion. Microsoft has been publicly supportive of employee organizing efforts, but it's unclear if it will take a direct hand at the company in addressing issues raised by the Committee Against Sex and Gender Discrimination.

We've reached out to Activision Blizzard for comment and will update this story when the company responds.

About the Author(s)

Bryant Francis

Senior Editor, GameDeveloper.com

Bryant Francis is a writer, journalist, and narrative designer based in Boston, MA. He currently writes for Game Developer, a leading B2B publication for the video game industry. His credits include Proxy Studios' upcoming 4X strategy game Zephon and Amplitude Studio's 2017 game Endless Space 2.

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