Entertainment

Labor organizers: Microsoft buying Activision Blizzard won’t stop us

On Tuesday, Microsoft announced plans to acquire Activision Blizzard, the maker of Call of Duty, World of Warcraft, Candy Crushand many other popular video game franchises – for a reported 68.7 billion dollars. The move comes amid growing tensions between leaders at Activision Blizzard and workers try to form a union. Organizers say that despite the distraction and potential for new leadership, the fight for workers’ rights at Activision Blizzard is continuing.

In a statement Tuesday on Twitter, the Activision Blizzard King Workers Union was adamant that change had to come from the top of the company — no matter who its owners were.

“The news of Activision being acquired by Microsoft is surprising,” the Activision Blizzard King workers union said in a statement today. on Twitter, “But does not change the goal of the ABK Workers Union. We remain committed to fighting to improve the workplace and the rights of our employees regardless of who controls the company’s finances. ”

It’s a situation that Activision Blizzard has largely self-inflicted. The story begins last summer with detailed report at Kotaku and other stores describe a hostile work environment for decades. In September 2021, the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission joined, File a formal complaint against Activision Blizzard. In it, the EEOC claimed that the video game publisher arrested employees for sexual harassment, pregnancy discrimination, and retaliation. The problem has been resolved according to 18 million dollars, but in the weeks and months that followed, even worse stories came to light. One worker said the company encountered a situation “alcohol soaked culture sexual harassment. ”

ABK Workers Union was established in August 2021 to support its workers and improve workplace conditions. That effort is still ongoing – including at Raven Software, where workers are currently in their fifth week of work a strike to protest the layoffs. Other requests include a call for removal CEO Bobby Kotick, who has kept his spot at Activision Blizzard despite his central role in many of its controversies.

“Regardless of the company’s leadership structure,” ABK worker Alliance concluded in its statement, “we will continue to advance #EndAbuseInGaming and appreciate the support we have experienced over the years.” via.” The organization is currently accepting Donate to support striking workers at Raven Software, producer of Call of Duty: Warzone.

Communications Workers of America (CWA), one of the nation’s largest and most influential labor unions, supports the ABK Workers Union in its consolidation efforts. It also released a statement on Tuesday.

“Microsoft’s proposed acquisition of Activision Blizzard represents a major shift for the gaming industry and significantly strengthens Microsoft’s competitive position at a pivotal time in the industry’s evolution,” said the statement. CWA President Christopher M. Shelton said in a statement sent to Polygon. “Prior to any approval of this proposed arrangement, the Departments of Justice, Federal Trade Commission and state attorneys general must all carefully consider the implications for consumers. and American workers, especially Activision Blizzard employees, who tried to improve working conditions and make it difficult. issues related to company culture in terms of cultural practices of sexism and discrimination, pay inequality, harassment and abuse in the workplace.

“Activision Blizzard’s response to employee concerns has been constant surveillance, intimidation tactics, and the hiring of notorious union vandals,” Shelton continued. “The concerns of Activision Blizzard employees must be addressed in any plan – acquisition or not – about the future direction of the company.”

https://www.polygon.com/22890020/microsoft-activision-blizzard-acquisition-abk-union-statement Labor organizers: Microsoft buying Activision Blizzard won’t stop us

Aila Slisco

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