Activision Blizzard Reacts to Unionization Talk

Turns Out, Blizzard Has Strong Feelings Over Possible Unionization 

Activision Blizzard is still at it. There have been talks and planning for a union for the employees of Activision Blizzard for a while now. But with the walkoffs in protest of the layoffs in Raven Software, there has been even greater motivation to bring the talks of unions into a reality.

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Instead of talking it out with the employees, the chief administrative officer, Brian Bulatao, sent off an email to all employees of the company. According to Bulatao, a union would be a terrible idea, getting in the way of the changes employees want. Below is a portion of the released email.

As you make this decision for your future, we ask only that you take time to consider the consequences of your signature on the binding legal document presented to you by CWA. Once you sign that document, you will have signed over to CWA the exclusive right “to represent [you] for the purposes of collective bargaining concerning all terms and conditions of employment.” That means that your ability to negotiate all your own working conditions will be turned over to CWA, just as the document says.

And this is after Bulatao said that Activision Blizzard has been making strides and clearly listening to what the people want, but only if there’s “direct dialogue” between management and employees. This is hilarious, considering how well management has been listening to employees before. And it gets better.

Achieving our workplace culture aspirations will best occur through active, transparent dialogue between leaders and employees that we can act upon quickly. That is the better path than simply signing an electronic form offered to you by CWA or awaiting the outcome of a legally-mandated and -regulated bargaining process sometime in the future.

Considering there is no job security for contract employees, and everyone knows it, this makes the email all the more flimsy, and a clear threat against employees of the company. After the contents of this email were released by departing senior test analyst Jessica Gonzalez, there’s been a lot of scorn on the topic- and no wonder. For all Activision Blizzard has been talking about making change, it’s done little to nothing about actually going through the process- at least nothing that’s been noted and seen.

The CWA, the union that Blizzard employees could end up signing with in order to band together and get better treatment, also weighed in on the matter via Twitter. “Union avoidance campaigns waste resources that ABK management could otherwise be using to address serious concerns such as compensating the victims of sexual harassment. We hope management will come to its senses & see that their only viable path forward is to meet the righteous demands from the initial walkout, including ensuring there is a lasting worker voice in all company matters.

It would be thought that Activision Blizzard management would know better, but as we’ve seen, their judgement has not been the best, especially in the past while.

For those who want to support Blizzard workers, people can donate to their strike fund on gofundme. As of this writing, 305,224 USD has been raised in order to pay for wages while workers go on strike.