A Formal Thread about Activision/Blizzard

XsjadoBlayde

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Activision Blizzard employees are launching a bid for unionisation, as fresh strike action and a new $1m fund to support workers has been announced.


Several staff members have spoken out publicly on social media to say they have now received and signed union cards. Meanwhile, the ABetterABK group of employees has confirmed a further strike will be held today.

"Today, the ABK Worker's Alliance announces the initiation of its strike," the group announced via Twitter this afternoon. "We encourage our peers in the game industry to stand with us in creating lasting change. For those who wish to join in solidarity, please consider donating to our Strike Fund."

"Management told employees they will not be paid for the walkout after Wednesday," Washington Post journalist Shannon Liao wrote on Twitter. "Workers still plan to strike today. The strike fund is supposed to create financial security for those who choose to join."

A GoFundMe page for the ABK Strike Fund is now live, with around $15k raised so far.

Today's first step towards unionisation - the handing out of union cards - is part of the process a workforce must go through to gain collective bargaining rights.


"Under the National Labor Relations Act, employees have the right to collectively bargain through a union if a majority of employees agree," video games industry lawyer Richard Hoeg, host of the Virtual Legality podcast, told me.

"Most often this is done by a secret ballot vote (which folks may recall seeing most recently with Amazon), but in order to determine whether such a vote is necessary, the Act requires 30 percent of the employees that would be subject to the union to request it. We generally refer to those requests as 'union cards' or 'union authorisation cards', and it appears that potential union organisers within Activision have distributed those cards to sign (or not) as of today."


"All I want for Christmas is an ABK union," wrote Jessica Gonzalez, a key figure in recent employee action at Activision Blizzard who recently handed in her resignation.

We have contacted Activision and ABetterABK for more.

Last month, Activision was the focus of a damning Wall St Journal report which detailed alleged sexual harassment, assault and inappropriate behaviour at the developer behind Call of Duty. It followed a stream of reports of a similarly toxic culture at sister studio Blizzard.

Particular criticism was levelled towards Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick, including claims of how much he knew, and suggestion he could have done more.

The report's publication sent shockwaves through Activision Blizzard and around the games industry. Employees walked out and more than 1800 signed a petition demanding Kotick step down. But - for now - Kotick remains.
 
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Dwarvenhobble

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View attachment 5065

I hop it's a proper union for the workers and not one of the modern political union ideas like "We the workers demand the right to discontinue work on any game we disagree with the content on and for Activision to abandon development on said title in favour of titles we agree with the the content on personally". Because there's been a few of those kind of union attempts coming up most recently an attempt at Image comics by office staff wanting the right to refuse to publish things and have the power to pick and choose what they work to publish rather than that power resting with managers.
 

Dwarvenhobble

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Well seems more allegation are coming to light and........ kinda wow this is getting into more and more messed up territory

 

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Well seems more allegation are coming to light and........ kinda wow this is getting into more and more messed up territory

That's super fucked up, but the headline makes it sound like a regular occurrence that happened. Based on the article it seems to have happened once in 2008 when a woman stored her breast milk in the break room fridge. The article also says that after it happened the company immediately provided a separate mini-fridge specifically for breast milk, and that it had a padlock on it, and that there was a whisper campaign among breastfeeding women that if you didn't lock up your breast milk it would get stolen, but no mention in the article whether that actually ever happened again.

It's super messed up that it happened once, but this isn't really all that different than someone's lunch getting stolen out of a break room fridge...except that someone probably had a creepy breast milk fetish and used it to jerk off.
 
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Bedinsis

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Huh. That was interesting. There is enough shady things in the games industry that I never considered that game schools could also be a cause for concern. While only tangentially related to the subject of this thread, I'm glad I saw it.
 
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BrawlMan

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Huh. That was interesting. There is enough shady things in the games industry that I never considered that game schools could also be a cause for concern. While only tangentially related to the subject of this thread, I'm glad I saw it.
It is majorly connected, because Activision and many AAA publishers have connections to that school. Everything's relative. I don't consider that tangibly related. I'm glad I was able to show something important. Thank you and you are welcome.
 

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How so? Apart from DigiPen graduates having gotten job at Activision.
You just saw the evidence yourself. Those programmers that did graduate have to come from somewhere. They're taught how to be used and abused and mistreated in all the wrong ways. The crunch culture, the horrible mismanagement, egotistical leaders that are put in a position because of nepotism and clearly in positions they do not belong or have long past their usage. All these students are being set up for failure and to be cast and thrown away from big companies like Activision or EA when they're no longer needed. To be harassed and abused like they've been in that school. And then said companies will go on about how video games are (too) expensive to make, yet will boast about how much money they made and how many people they laid off all in the same breath.
 
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BrawlMan

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Looks like JSS reuploaded it, minus a particular person's name, with the aim of keeping attention on the institution as a whole and to avoid that person being harassed.
The dickweed professor. Considering the horror stories about the douche, I would feel almost nothing for the harassment he receives. I don't hate Sterling for doing it, and I understand why, but people should know who's doing the harassment and abuse.
 

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You just saw the evidence yourself. Those programmers that did graduate have to come from somewhere. They're taught how to be used and abused and mistreated in all the wrong ways. The crunch culture, the horrible mismanagement, egotistical leaders that are put in a position because of mechanism and clearly in positions they do not belong or have long past their usage. All these students are being set up for failure and to be cast and thrown away from big companies like Activision or EA when they're no longer needed. To be harassed and abused like they've been in that school. And then said companies will go on about how video games are (too) expensive to make, yet will boast about how much money they made and how many people they laid off all in the same breath.
You should hear medical and law students tell their horror stories.
 
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