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Activision Blizzard exec issues anti-union message to employees

Brian Bulatao was previously alleged to be a "bully" at the State Department during the Trump Administration.

Bryant Francis, Senior Editor

December 10, 2021

2 Min Read

Activision Blizzard has begun its campaign to prevent unionization efforts among its employees. Its first salvo today is a message from chief administrative officer Brian Bulatao urging employees to "consider the consequences of your signature on the binding legal document presented to you by the [Communication Workers of America.]"

The Communication Workers of America is a labor union representing workers in telecommunications, media, customer service, and more. They are the group that partnered with A Better ABK to begin the process of unionization at Activision Blizzard.

If the name Brian Bulatao sounds familiar, that's because the last time we covered him, it was because he'd been hired at Activision Blizzard out of the Trump Administration, where he was allegedly known as a "bully" at the U.S. State Department.

Given that context, and Bulatao's words, it's very difficult to read this as anything other than a barely-legal form of employee intimidation.

That possibility seems even more likely if you consider this story that emerged from a former Activision Blizzard employee, who alleged that Bulatao directly called their cell phone and made intimidating statements when asked to schedule a meeting to discuss work-from-home inequity at the company. 

Bulatao has overseen the company's human resources department since his hiring in March.

Activision Blizzard's continued defensive action over the numerous accusations of company management allegedly fostering a toxic work environment seems to highlight how determined they are to not face real consequences for the nightmares that have taken place at the company.

The company's initial response to the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing's lawsuit did include a shot about state officials "driving many of the State’s best businesses out of California," which seemed to be in reference to a favored line of attack among American Conservatives against the Golden State. 

Deploying a former Trump administration official with such a reputation to downplay efforts at unionization feels like a continued circling of the wagons, and continued clear signaling for where Activision Blizzard leadership's priorities lie--with themselves.

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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