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Activision Blizzard employees to walk out today to demand end to gender inequity, other issues

Activision Blizzard Walkout Eqality
(Image credit: Carli Velocci / Windows Central)

What you need to know

  • Activision Blizzard employees at multiple locations are walking out today to demand an end to gender inequity.
  • In particular, employees are calling for the company to do more for marginalized workers, including cost of living adjustments, along with more resources for women and LGBTQ+ workers.
  • The walkout announcement came following the U.S. Supreme Court's overturning of Roe v. Wade, which protected the right to an abortion, along with other discriminatory legislation across the country.

Activision Blizzard employees will be walking out today with a new list of demands for the higher-ups at the company, including an end to gender inequity and more support for women and LGTBQ+ workers in the face of potentially harmful legislation and rulings in recent months.

The walkouts will take place at the main office in Irvine, Calif., but also at the Austin, Minnesota, and Albany offices starting at 10 a.m. PT and going until 2 p.m. PT.

The event was announced earlier this month following the overturning of Roe v. Wade, a nearly 50-year-old precedent that established the right to abortions. The recent U.S. Supreme Court decision allows individual states to pass abortion and healthcare laws, which can pose a huge threat to people who need the procedure. Since the decision, many states have passed laws limiting access and even criminalizing those who get abortions, even in potentially life-risking situations. 

"Employees are actively facing state legislation that is putting women, LGBTQ+ employees, and their families at risk, with other vulnerable groups on the horizon," The ABK Workers Alliance said in a thread on Twitter announcing the walkout.

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The new eight demands encompass specific things Activision Blizzard could do to support workers, specifically those affected by recent legislation in the U.S. that can limit healthcare for women, trans people, and those who can get pregnant. It also calls for the company to assist those who choose to work fully remote and to provide cost of living adjustments for those who have to relocate because of discriminatory laws.

The Committee Against Sex and Gender Discrimination, which is made up of current and former Activision Blizzard workers, also issued a list of demands in June before the walkout announcement. This list served as a refresh of previous demands sent to leadership following news of the huge harassment lawsuit going public. Along with re-upping things like protection from retaliation and the end to mandatory arbitration in contracts, it calls to extend protections to transgender and nonbinary employees and to extend parental leave. 

According to the workers' alliance, those demands were sent to leadership two months prior to their publication on the web, but the company chose to just speak to the media. The alliance also denies that Activision Blizzard has met demands. 

"Our employees made these requests two months ago and at that time, the Company had already adopted many of the policy changes they sought," a company spokesperson said in a statement to news outlets. "We continue to appreciate that these employees want to join with us to further build a better Activision Blizzard and continue the progress we have already made."

You can view the full list of walkout demands over on the Communications Workers of America's website, along with information on how to attend the walkout yourself.

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The walkout comes after QA workers at Blizzard Albany voted to unionize on Tuesday. This is the second group inside the company to head towards unionization, following the QA team at Raven Software, which became the first union at a major video game company in North America earlier this year. Activision Blizzard has still not formally recognized the Raven Software union, but the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) ruled that the workers were allowed to vote.

Carli Velocci
Carli Velocci

Carli is the Gaming Editor and Copy Chief across Windows Central, Android Central, and iMore. Her last name also will remind you of a dinosaur. Follow her on Twitter or email her at carli.velocci@futurenet.com.