Activision Blizzard employees withdrew after allegations of rampant sex discrimination

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Employees are Gaming giant Activision Blizzard went on strike on Wednesday, ending a week of escalating tensions surrounding how executives deal with allegations of discrimination and sexual harassment in the 10,000-employee company.

On Wednesday morning, outside Activision Blizzard’s office in Irvine, California, employees held signs that read “Believe in Women”, “Committed to Equality”, “Weaken the Privileges of Men” and “Fight against the bad guys in the game. “Bad IRL Fighting” and other information. 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.

An organizer said that about 500 people attended the event. 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 magazine 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 retaliation against women who stand up.

In response, Activision Blizzard issued a statement saying that the company values ​​diversity, but it also criticized DFEH’s two-year investigation as “irresponsible behavior by irresponsible state bureaucrats. These actions are causing many of the state’s most Good companies drive out of California.” Fran Townsend, chief compliance officer of Activision Blizzard and former security consultant of George W. Bush, also expressed the same view. 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 president of the company named in the lawsuit, called the allegations “extremely disturbing” in another internal email obtained. Bloomberg.

Photo: Alex Welsh

Photo: Alex Welsh

Employees—especially those who have had personal experience of sexual harassment and discrimination in the company—are annoyed to hear responses that they think are indifferent or even dismissive. 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 confidence that “leaders would put employee safety above their own interests” and asked Townsend to resign as 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 lonely 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 to let the silent voice speak.” 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’s a joint effort of hundreds and hundreds of people,” Blizzard employee and strike movement representative told Wired magazine. The employee added that there is currently no discussion about joining a union. Organizers announced a strike on Tuesday. They also issued a statement of intent to act, as well as multiple requirements, including sharing employee compensation data to ensure fair compensation, better promoting diversified recruitment policies, and hiring third-party employee-selected working groups for review. Human resources and administrative staff.

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