Activision Blizzard employees withdrew after accusations of rampant sex discrimination

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Employees are Gaming giant Activision Blizzard (Activision Blizzard) went on strike today, ending a week of tensions surrounding how executives deal with allegations of discrimination and sexual harassment in the company with 10,000 employees.

On Wednesday morning, outside Activision Blizzard’s Irvine, California office, employees held signs that read “Believe in Women”, “Commit to Equality”, “Weaken the Privileges of Men” and “Fight the Bad Guys in the Game” /Fight the bad guy IRL”. The car honked its horn.On the Internet, the hashtag #ActiBlizzWalkout is very popular because I like games like this World of Warcraft and Overwatch Expressed overwhelming support, including a promise to unite and boycott the game that day.

According to photos posted on the Internet, more than 200 people participated in the strike. An unknown number of other employees participated in the shutdown remotely.

“We love our work, but our work does not love us,” an Activision employee told wired Before the strike. “That hurts. So we are working hard to change this situation.”

Today’s strike is partly due to the leadership of Activision Blizzard’s Explosive litigation Submitted by the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing last week. The lawsuit alleges rampant inequality in the workplace, from unequal pay for similar jobs to a leadership culture that allows sexual harassment and even retaliates against women who come forward.

In response, Activision Blizzard issued a statement saying that the company values ​​diversity, but also criticized DFEH’s two-year investigation as “irresponsible behavior by irresponsible state bureaucrats, which are driving out many of the state’s best companies.” California.” Activision Blizzard’s Chief Compliance Officer Fran Townsend, George W. Bush’s former security consultant, also made the same voice. In a letter she sent to employees last week, Obtained by AxiosShe described the lawsuit as “truly worthless and irresponsible” and the allegations in it were “actually incorrect” or “stale.” She also stated that she is “proud” of being a member of a company that “takes a tough attitude towards inappropriate or hostile work environments”. J. Allen Brack, the company’s president named in the lawsuit, described the allegations as “extremely disturbing” in another internal email obtained. go through Bloomberg.

Photo: Alex Wales
Photo: Alex Wales

Employees—especially those who have had personal experience of sexual harassment and discrimination in the company—are annoyed to hear responses that they feel cold or even cold. On Monday, Activision Blizzard employees condemned the leadership’s statement in an open letter, calling it “abominable and insulting to everything we think the company should support.” The letter pointed out that employees had lost the belief that “leaders will put employee safety above their own interests” and asked Townsend to resign from the position of executive sponsor of ABK Women’s Network. By Tuesday night, the letter had been signed by more than 3,200 current and former employees.

“This lawsuit has exposed the feeling of isolation from individuals. These people feel that they are alone for a long time, otherwise there may be retaliation,” said Activision employees and representatives of the strike movement, who were worried about being affected. Would like to be named. “I think this is for the silent.” In order to support these people, Blizzard, Activision, and King employees-all under the umbrella of Activision Blizzard-began to organize.

“This movement is company-wide, and it is a joint effort of hundreds of people,” Blizzard employees and representatives of the strike movement told wiredThe employee added that there is currently no discussion about joining a union. Organizers announced a strike on Tuesday. They also issued a statement of intention to act, as well as a number of requirements, including: sharing employee compensation data to ensure fair compensation; better promotion of diverse recruitment policies; and introducing a third-party, employee-selected working group to review manpower Resources and executive staff.



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