The Activision Blizzard Workers Alliance is no stranger to walking out of work to make a point: its most recent demonstration was in protest of the company’s vaccine mandate removal. This time, reproductive rights legislation is the hot-button issue. Due to the United States Supreme Court’s controversial repealing of the historic Roe v. Wade ruling, reproductive rights are again under fire. The alliance isn’t taking that lying down.
In a thorough Twitter thread, the group detailed its plans to walk out on Thursday, July 21, a move led by its Committee Against Sex and Gender Discrimination. The thread includes a list of the alliance’s demands in relation to the Roe v. Wade ruling and its resulting effects on employees. Among the eight points raised are relocation services to safe states, cost of living adjustments in accordance with such a move, regular meetings with the Committee Against Sex and Gender Discrimination, and a non-interference agreement so that alliance can properly unionize and bargain.
Microsoft recently signed such an agreement, pledging to remain neutral when employees show interest in forming or joining a union. Presumably, this would extend to Activision Blizzard once Microsoft’s acquisition is finalized. The near-$70 billion deal shone a spotlight on a lot of the labor issues at Activision Blizzard, though they were occurring long before it was signed.
It’s put every move at Activision Blizzard since then in a very different light. CEO Bobby Kotick was reelected to his chair despite the ongoing controversy, affirming his intention to remain in charge until the Microsoft merger is complete. Shareholders did vote in favor of a public report on workplace discrimination, which is a step in the right direction.
Recently, Call of Duty Raven Software’s QA team became the first major video game union, another small sign of progress. Hopefully that sets a precedent for the Workers Alliance, as it’s under the same corporate banner. The group shouldn’t have to wait for new bosses for those in charge to do the right thing.