Activision Blizzard developers stand up for reproductive rights
Activision Blizzard employees today quit their jobs to demand protection for employees affected by the loss of abortion rights in the United States. The strikes affected studios in California, Texas, Minnesota and New York.
A Better ABK (organized under Communications Workers of America) issued a statement of claims addressed to her employer, Activision Blizzard, which include relocation assistance for those working from discriminatory states, cost of living adjustments when relocating, and guaranteed access to abortion in employee health plans. Some of the demands relate to labor rights more broadly, such as B. The right to choose remote work, including screening employees for sexual harassment, and for the company to sign a labor neutrality agreement Microsoft.
According to that Washington Post, 450 employees were on strike when the article was written. Some attended in person while others participated virtually in zoom. The Mayor of Irvine Farra Khan and a representative of the Congressmen Katie Porter‘s office also came to support the strike. “[We are] We support our employees at Blizzard today, where women workers face constant harassment and working conditions have not improved,” Khan tweeted. “This cannot continue until next year hoping Microsoft will do better.”
The move is a particularly important issue for Activision Blizzard employees given the company’s location in Austin, TX. Texas is a trigger law state that will be soon criminalize those who perform abortions. Employees at other tech and gaming companies have also called for support for those working from Texas (such as ZenMax and NVIDIA).
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There is currently no information as to whether the publisher intends to respond to the workers’ demands. kotaku reached out to CWA but received no response at the time of publication. A spokesperson for Activision Blizzard provided kotaku with the following statement:
We support the right of our employees to express their views and values in a safe, responsible manner and without fear of retaliation. There are numerous ways they can do this, publicly or confidentially.
Our leadership team remains focused on ensuring we are the best place to work. This includes ensuring gender equality throughout the company and full access to reproductive and other health services for every employee.
Notably, the statement does not directly address the strike’s list of demands. Other gambling companies like Bungie have already done this promised Reimburse travel expenses for employees who “cannot access the health care they need where they live”. Game development studio Certain Affinity offered to pay for the moving costs for employees who do not have access to “essential care”. So there is industry precedent for the demands of the strike organizers. With the Huge success of call of Duty franchise Last year, Activision Blizzard certainly has the resources to offer these benefits to its employees.
Update 7/21/2022 6:43pm ET: Activision Blizzard sent the following statement kotaku:
In early June, the Company announced expanded medical travel benefits to include coverage for US employees and their dependents who participate in our medical plans and live in areas where there is access to medical care, including reproductive health, gender-affirming treatment, transplant care, and the like other medical care covered by our plans that is not available in an insured person’s state or within 100 miles of his or her place of residence.
https://kotaku.com/activision-blizzard-a-better-abk-cwa-roe-wade-abortion-1849316842 Activision Blizzard developers stand up for reproductive rights