Activision Blizzard employees plan new walkout over lifting vaccine mandates [Update]
The ABK Workers Alliance has laid out multiple demands in response to the planned removal of a vaccine mandate.
Update 7:45 p.m. ET: Activision Blizzard allowing studios to set their own mandates.
What you need to know
- A group of Activision Blizzard employees are planning a walkout.
- The walkout will be held on April 4, 2022 at 10:00 a.m. PT.
- The workers are protesting the removal of the vaccine mandate and asking for remote work to be offered on a permanent basis.
Activision Blizzard employees are planning a new walkout, pushing back on several elements of the current planned return to office for the company.
According to an announcement from the ABK Workers Alliance, a group of employees are planning to walk out on Monday, April 4 at 10:00 a.m. PT / 1:00 p.m. ET. The workers have three demands: Reversing the removal of the current vaccine mandate at the company, offering remote work as a permanent solution, and the ability for individual employees to make the decision to work remotely or return to an office.
This comes after months of prior walkouts as workers have demanded accountability from company leadership in light of the Activision Blizzard lawsuit that broke in 2021. Employees from Raven Software ended a strike in January 2022 as part of efforts to seek recognition as a union.
Activision Blizzard is currently in the process of being acquired by Microsoft in a deal worth almost $69 billion. The deal is currently awaiting shareholder approval and undergoing regulatory approval, and is estimated to close sometime before June 2023. Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick is widely reported to be leaving the company following the complete of the acquisition. Over 1,800 employees at Activision Blizzard have signed a petition asking for the removal of Kotick.
If finalized, the deal will add Activision Blizzard as a third Xbox first-party publisher, alongside Xbox Game Studios and Bethesda Softworks.
Activision Bizzard allowing studios to set their own mandates
According to Blizzard UI engineer Valentine Powell on Twitter, the company is allowing studios to set their own vaccine mandates following backlash against a decision to end them for the entire organization.
Breaking: Brian Bulatao has conceded to allow each studio to choose their own vaccine mandate requirements. So far I've heard that Blizzard, QAMN, QALA, and QATX have reinstated a vaccine mandate. I hope to hear that all of my fellow ABK coworkers will be similarly protected.Breaking: Brian Bulatao has conceded to allow each studio to choose their own vaccine mandate requirements. So far I've heard that Blizzard, QAMN, QALA, and QATX have reinstated a vaccine mandate. I hope to hear that all of my fellow ABK coworkers will be similarly protected.— Valentine Powell 💙🏳️🌈🏳️⚧️ (@valentine_irl) April 1, 2022April 1, 2022
So far, Blizzard, QAMN, QALA, and QATX have reinstated the mandates.
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Samuel Tolbert is a freelance writer covering gaming news, previews, reviews, interviews and different aspects of the gaming industry, specifically focusing on Xbox and PC gaming on Windows Central. You can find him on Twitter @SamuelTolbert.
By Jez Corden
A rude awakening is coming to s lot of employees at Activision: yes, MS pays 25-50% more tan typical gaming industry salaries and they don't micromanage their gaming studios, but MS as a whole routinely fires the bottom 5% of performers.
They can be as ruthless as any other tech company.
They're just a kindler, gentler kind of ruthless. 😁
And it does.
Lots of work environments are dangerous.
As long as they meet OSHA regulation workers have exactly two choices: work or walk.
Office work is in no way comparable to, say, a refinery or high steel work yet people knowingle run those much much higher risks daily.
Not all walkouts are legal under labor law.
IP alone is worth the cash.
Given MS practices and the publicly reported attitude of some of the staff, I expect everybody gets a year's grace. After that it'll be open season and 20% gets canned.
They'll net $100B out of Activision if they have to fire everybody and farm out all the games to support studios. Those folks had better do their homework.
They just "happen" to reorganize annually and certain jobs go away...
(Kinder gentler ruthlessness.)
They just announced another reorg this week. First thing the addressed: no job losses this thime.
As I said above: choices exist.
Case by case. Just like any other disease/condition.
But these folks are arguing for a blanket eternal covid regime.
Not universally dangerous.
It's not 2020 when we knew nothing.
Now we do.
We know who is at risk and when and who isn't.