Activision Blizzard accused of spying on employees, threatening them
Activision Blizzard violated U.S. labor law by unlawfully surveilling employees during a walkout and threatening to shut down internal chat channels as a union sought to organize its workers, a federal labor agency said Friday.
A spokeswoman for the National Labor Relations Board said that unless Activision settles its accounts, the agency will file a lawsuit against the company involving employees of its California-based subsidiary Blizzard Entertainment and three other states.
The Communication Workers of America (CWA) union has accused the Call of Duty maker of a series of illegal labor practices within the union that has sought to organize video game testers and other company employees and of its subsidiaries.
Blizzard employees across the country staged a strike last year to protest what they said was a lack of gender equality at the company.
Kayla Blado, a spokeswoman for the labor board, said Friday that a regional agency official found merit in the CWA’s claim that Activision used security personnel to monitor workers during the walkout.
A claim that the company also broke the law by threatening to shut down internal Slack channels where employees frequently discussed working conditions was also found to be true, Blado said.
An Activision spokesperson in a statement defended the company’s ability to prevent “toxic behavior in the workplace.”
“CWA wants us to accept their… misrepresentations, but we strongly believe that employees should not be insulted and reprimanded for their hard work, especially on company communications platforms,” the spokesperson said. word.
The union did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Activision is already facing a separate NLRB complaint filed last year, claiming the company used a policy limiting what workers can post on social media to prevent them from discussing working conditions. Activision said its social media policy was legal and did not prevent employees from exercising their rights under US labor law.
Small groups of workers at Activision affiliates in New York and Wisconsin have voted to join the CWA in recent months, and employees in Boston are seeking to organize elections. Activision said it is considering its options in these cases.
Last year, Xbox maker Microsoft agreed to buy Activision for $69 billion (roughly Rs 5.67,000 crore), a deal that has come under antitrust scrutiny from US and European regulators.
© Thomson Reuters 2023
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