A workers collective comprised of employees at Activision Blizzard – King has reportedly scored a victory in the ongoing fight for workers’ rights at the company. Jessica Gonzalez, a senior test analyst at Blizzard and member of the ABK Workers Alliance, took to Twitter today to celebrate “a huge victory” and update followers on recent concessions made with regards to temporary workers at the company. Those concessions represent a significant improvement for ABK’s contract workers, who ordinarily would not get the same sort of rights as salaried employees.
Gonzalez lists several points, such as an increased minimum hourly rate of $17 per hour, a promise by the other partner companies to match Blizzard’s nine annual accruable sick days, and 13 paid holidays each year (as well as Thanksgiving and Winter breaks off). The latter demand is of particular note, considering that the group was only informed of the fact that contractors were forced to take unpaid time off for the holidays at the beginning of the month, suggesting a quick turnaround and effective negotiation.
The ABK Workers Collective is under no misapprehensions that the job is done, though. Gonzalez herself was quick to state that “there is more work to do,” and the replies to her Tweet featured many cautious supporters offering congratulations while also pushing for further improvements. Several welcomed the hourly rate increase as a definite improvement, for example, while warning that $17 was still insufficient considering the cost of living in California.
In any case, progress is undeniably being made, and the fact that ABK is willing to come to the table at all is evidence of the power of collective action. Whether other companies will follow suit, such as Ubisoft — which was recently the target of a public petition launched by workers group A Better Ubisoft to demand the address of several issues — remains to be seen.