Activision Blizzard workers go on strike, seek donations for wage assistance

In context: Months in the past, California’s Division of Truthful Employment and Housing filed a lawsuit in opposition to Activision Blizzard alleging widespread institutional sexism, inequality, and even harassment, significantly towards feminine workers from their male supervisors. After the swimsuit went public, a cluster of disgruntled workers fashioned the ABK Employee’s Alliance. This group seeks to carry its employer accountable by way of public calls for and protests.

Now, the group is taking the following step. As an alternative of merely expressing their discontent by way of Twitter posts and in-person protests, the ABK Staff Alliance is formally strolling out and occurring strike; however not simply due to the harassment allegations. This demonstration was prompted by newer occasions, by which roughly 1/3 of Activision Blizzard’s Raven High quality Assurance crew got termination letters with out warning. These lay-offs are set to take impact in late January, giving employees simply a few months to discover a new supply of employment.

Beforehand, this crew was reportedly inspired to relocate to a brand new workplace location at their very own expense, with the promise of “future raises and higher circumstances.” Sadly, it appears these guarantees by no means materialized for Raven QA.

As such, the ABK Employee’s Alliance refuses to finish its strike till the fired Raven QA employees are reinstated and all crew members are employed as full-time workers as a substitute of non permanent contractors. For reference, it’s common observe for recreation builders and publishers to rent contractors to fill out their QA departments. These employees are usually cheaper and simpler to dismiss than full-time workers, who usually have additional rights, advantages, and protections relying on their state or area of employment.

Not all recreation corporations take part in these common firing sprees — Nintendo executives are infamous for taking pay cuts to keep away from lay offs — however many do.

To assist their members throughout this strike, the ABK Staff Alliance has began a GoFundMe marketing campaign with a $1,000,000 aim. As of writing, the “ABK Strike Fund” web page has acquired $214,444 in donations, and it solely opened yesterday.

You possibly can be taught extra about how the GoFundMe money might be distributed on the precise Strike Fund web page however, in brief, strike organizers are aiming to “help with wages” and assist fired Raven QA members relocate if needed.

Along with the requests laid out above, the ABK Employee’s Alliance continues to be holding agency to its unique 4 calls for, which have been introduced when the group first fashioned. The group desires:

  • …an finish to compelled arbitration in employment agreements.
  • …the adoption of inclusive recruitment and hiring practices.
  • …will increase in pay transparency by way of compensation metrics.
  • …an audit of ABK insurance policies and practices to be carried out by a impartial third-party.

We’ll let you realize if something comes of this strike, however finally, we hope members can preserve themselves and their households afloat throughout these tough occasions.

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