Activision Blizzard staff organizers are pushing ahead with today’s protest. They claim that Bobby Kotick, the company boss, “fails” to address the critical concerns of employees in his statement from overnight.
Activision Blizzard workers announced strike action yesterday night in protest at the company’s recent response to California’s Department of Fair Employment and Housing’s lawsuit that alleged an “fratboy” culture of work which created “a breeding ground of harassment and discrimination towards women.”
Activision Blizzard went immediately on the attack when the news about the lawsuit first hit the media. They called it “irresponsible behavior from unaccountable State Bureaucrats that have driven many of California’s most successful businesses out of California.” Fran Townsend, senior company executive, later redoubled the attacks in an email sent to employees. He called the lawsuit “truly meritless” and “irresponsible”.
Fran Townsend was the Activision Blizzard Executive from 2004 to 2007. He joined Activision March and sent out an entirely different type of email, which has caused some Blizzard employees furious. pic.twitter.com/BxGeMTuRYF
— Jason Schreier (@jasonschreier) July 23, 2021
Rapid criticism was met. The petition was signed by more than 2000 Activision Blizzard employees, both current and ex-staff. It called for official statements to acknowledge the severity of the allegations and show compassion for the victims of harassment or assault.
A group of employees also responded to Activision Blizzard’s handling of the suit by confirming a walkout was being planned at company offices on 28 July. They listed four demands and called for the “executive leadership team to collaborate with us…” in an effort to improve the conditions at the company.
After days of silence Bobby Kotick, Activision Blizzard’s boss, finally released a statement today describing Activision Blizzard’s initial reaction to the lawsuit’s outcome as “tone deaf”. But walkout organizers doubt that Kotick’s statements went far enough.
Activision Blizzard walkout organizers just released a statement in response to CEO Bobby Kotick’s email to staff in which he described the company’s response as “tone deaf” pic.twitter.com/64D7w8PhOL
Megan Farokhmanesh, @Megan_Nicolett July 28, 2021
“While we are happy to see that leadership has changed the tone of communications, including an open letter signed by thousands of employees,” organizers said in a statement. Megan Farokhmanesh shared the new statement. However, the response “failed to address the critical elements at heart of employee concerns.” The group is continuing today’s walkout, while Activision Blizzard addresses the following issues.
- All employees must stop being forced to arbitrate
- Participation of workers in the oversight of promotion and hiring policies
- To ensure equality, greater transparency in pay
- Third party audit of HR and company processes. Employee selection
The group continues, “Today’s walkout will prove that this isn’t a one-time incident that our leaders can overlook,” their statement continued. We will not accept silence again. The same process that brought us here will not allow us to be placated.
This is the start of a long-lasting movement for better working conditions for all workers, particularly women of colour, transgender, women and people from other social groups.
We expect prompt responses and commitments from the leadership to address these points. Looking forward, we look forward to continuing constructive dialog on building a better Activision Blizzard environment for all employees.
We stand for change today. We will continue to be the change tomorrow and beyond.
Publiated at Wed. 28 July 2021, 18:44.31 +0000