Vice reported that employees of Activision Blizzard have filed an unfair labor practice charge with the National Labor Relations Board with allegations of coercion and interrogation. This is the latest salvo in the battle between Activision Blizzard and its workers in the latter’s fight against their abusive workplace.
The charging document suggests that the company “repeatedly engaged in unlawful conduct by threatening employees”. In addition, Activision Blizzard is accused of telling employees "they cannot communicate with or discuss ongoing investigations of wages, hours and working conditions; maintained an overly broad social media policy; enforced the social media policy against employees who have engaged in protected concerted activity; threatened or disciplined employees on account of protected concerted activity; engaged in surveillance of employees engaged in protected concerted activity and engaged in interrogation of employees about protected concerted activity.”
It seems that Activision Blizzard is engaging in retaliation against anyone speaking out about the labor issues at the company, with performance reviews being doled out that are below average to employees that were doing well. Many suspect that the company is doing this to get rid of outspoken employees to quell unionization talk.
Pressure continues to mount on Activision Blizzard to do better, as this follows a high-profile suit filed by the State of California against the company, alleging abuse and fostering a “frat boy” workplace culture, welcoming harassment against women who work there.
For Activision Blizzard’s part, it seems to be still figuring out how to address the workplace culture, and as such have hired a new HR head in Julie Hodges, who worked corporate HR for The Walt Disney Company. Whether this is a positive step forward for addressing harassment or just a new way to paper over the company’s many transgressions is difficult to tell at this point.