Activision Blizzard employees plan to walk out following the announcement Company’s “abhorrent” response to discrimination lawsuit

“[We] appeal to the executive leadership team for… improved conditions at the company for employees, particularly women.”

Activision Blizzard workers are organizing a walkout on the 28th of July to protest their response to California’s Department of Fair Employment and Housing’s recent lawsuit alleging that Activision Blizzard’s work culture was “a breeding ground of harassment and discrimination towards women”.

Activision quickly dismissed the suit, denigrating its claims strongly and dismissing the claim as “irresponsible behavior from unaccountable State Bureaucrats” that drove many of California’s top businesses out of California.

Fran Townsend of Activision Blizzard claimed that the lawsuit had “presented an inaccurate and untrue image of our company” in an email. He said it was “distorted and untrue”. Townshead stated, “Rest assured, leadership is committed to maintaining a safe and fair workplace.” It is unacceptable for us to allow egregious acts of others and an irresponsible and meritless lawsuit to damage our culture that values respect and offers equal opportunities for all employees.

Activision Blizzard employees quickly criticized Townshead’s statement. More than 2000 current and former employees signed a petition calling the company’s reaction to the discrimination lawsuit “abhorrent” and “insulting”.

The letter also demanded Townsend’s resignation as the executive sponsor for the company’s employee woman’s network and “official statements” that acknowledge the seriousness and show compassion to victims of harassment or assault.

Activision Blizzard has yet to reply to the petition and company boss Bobby Kotick is still quiet on the lawsuit, so employees plan a walkout tomorrow (28th July) calling for the “executive leadership team to collaborate with us… to improve the conditions at the company, particularly women and women of color, transgender women and nonbinary persons, as well as other marginalised groups.”

According to BlizzardWatch, there are four requirements from employees.

  1. All employee contracts should be void of mandatory arbitration clauses, both current and future. Arbitration clauses are designed to protect victims and prevent abusers from obtaining restitution.
  2. Employees in a diversity, equity and inclusion organization at the company agree to adopt policies for recruitment, interviewing, hiring, promotion, and other matters that improve employee representation. Women, particularly women of color, transgender people and nonbinary persons, are less likely to be hired for equal roles than men due to current practices.
  3. Data on relative pay (equity grants, profit sharing and promotion rates), and the salary ranges of employees from all ethnicities and genders at the company are published. These groups are not paid fairly due to current practices.
  4. To empower a company-wide Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion taskforce to recruit a third party for an audit of ABK’s reporting structure, HR department, executive staff, and other areas. You must identify the problems with current systems that prevent harassment of employees and propose solutions.

On 28 July, the walkout will take place in front the Blizzard campus’ main gate. It is expected to last between 10am and 2pm PDT. The organizers have noted that they will not allow anyone to enter the Blizzard campus due to current security and COVID measures.

Publiated at Wed 28 July 2021, 03:05:01 +0000

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