The employees of Activision Blizzard will stage a walkout later this month in opposition to the American Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, the landmark decision that protected abortion rights nationwide.
The ABK Workers Alliance announced the action on Twitter, claiming that Activision Blizzard’s current healthcare policies do not sufficiently protect its employees and that the decision was made “in light of the recent attacks on the civil liberties of our employees.”
“We are calling for the protection of several communities of marginalized workers,” the post (below) continued. Women, LGBTQ+ employees, and their families are currently at risk due to state legislation, and additional vulnerable groups will soon be at risk as well.
“Our walk-out demands center on the protection of ABK employees from internal threats like retaliation and harassment while at work, as well as external threats like the recent, overturn of Roe v. Wade.”
In a subsequent tweet, the group listed its eight demands to end gender inequality. These emphasize giving employees the choice to work entirely remotely, offering relocation for those who currently reside in areas with discriminatory laws, offering cost of living adjustments, and continuing to cover transgender and reproductive healthcare under health insurance.
Additional demands include that management immediately and openly disclose its intentions to permit relocation, that employees be included in the requested audit of sexual harassment, that leadership of ABK and the Committee Against Sex and Gender Discrimination meet regularly, and that ABK sign a labor-neutrality agreement allowing the free organization of workplace walkouts and other similar activities in a legally binding contract.
In July 2021, the ABK Workers Alliance made headlines when it organized a walkout to protest Activision Blizzard’s handling of a lawsuit brought against the company that exposed harassment, inequality, and other issues.
What is the Activision Blizzard controversy?
Activision Blizzard was accused of having a “frat boy” culture last year by the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing.
In a move that almost certainly has to do with the “frat boy” culture that California’s Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) described when it sued the company in July 2021, Blizzard has hired Jessica Martinez as its first Head of Culture.
According to DFEH, Activision Blizzard “allegedly promoted a sexist culture, assigned women to lower-level jobs and promoted them at slower rates than men, and fired or forced women to quit more frequently than men, despite women performing substantially similar work.” The lawsuit also detailed how female employees were subjected to “constant sexual harassment.”
What is Activision Blizzard accused of?
Activision Blizzard is charged with workplace discrimination in the DFEH lawsuit. It claims that women receive unfair compensation, is subject to significant harassment, and are paid less for the same job than their male counterparts. The organization referred to Activision Blizzard as a “breeding ground for harassment and discrimination,” where women are routinely the target of unwanted sexual advances from men (often in positions of authority), who frequently go unpunished.
Cube crawls, an office tradition where men allegedly consume “copious” amounts of alcohol, crawl through the cubicles, and engage in “inappropriate behavior” like groping, serve as an example of the accusations DFEH is making against Activision. A female employee allegedly committed suicide while on a business trip due to a toxic relationship with a supervisor, according to the lawsuit, which details various incidents.
The suit states, “The gaming industry continues to cater to men, even though women and girls now make up almost half of American gamers.” Unfortunately, not much has changed about Activision’s double-digit Blizzard’s percentage growth, 10-figure annual revenues, and recent diversity marketing campaigns.
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