Two Sides Appear to Be Issuing Conflicting Reports
Activision Blizzard is starting off the new year hot. We don’t mean in gaming sales. We’re talking about the walkout that occurred in Raven Software.
For those who do not know this situation, Activision Blizzard decided to lay off a dozen Quality Assurance contract employees without notice. Well, not quite without notice. Instead, for months, employees at Raven Software, the testers for the Call of Duty games, had been promised that they would be given full-time positions at the company, with a pay increase and benefits. So those in the QA department that were still employed at Raven Software decided that they would walk out. They had one simple demand: hire back the employees that were hired, and give them the same treatment as the others.
They’ve been out since December 6, 2021, making this their third official week since they’ve gone on strike. People have stepped up and helped ensure that the striking employees will be able to feed themselves while in the midst of the protest. They were also very clear that they had three demands they wanted to discuss with Activision Blizzard management. They want to negotiate, help those that relocated for the company and get a clear story as to what happened from the management side.
Very reasonable demands overall. But, while Blizzard is making all the right noises in an email to PC Gamer, saying that “Raven is full of people dedicated to improving the culture at Activision, and we look forward to partnering with employees to do that work together.”
There are all sorts of positivity, saying that the company is going to help with relocation and that there is currently a big conversion of temps to permanent employees. But Blizzard is…well, ignoring the single most important demand: rehire the dozen workers that were fired. Why Blizzard is being so stubborn, or just outright ignoring this particular demand is unknown at this time, as employees the third week of its walkout.
Maybe it’s trying to play no takebacks, that it doesn’t want to admit to its mistake and apologize. Maybe it’s something else. We won’t know until we hear about it directly, either from the employees or its management. But this could be the final push to Blizzard unionization, which management clearly does not want.
If it does, they have only themselves to blame.