Activision Blizzard workers launch strike fund in support of work stoppage

The biggest gaming stories of 2021

More efforts are underway for change at Activision Blizzard

The ABK Workers Alliance, an organization of workers across Activision Blizzard, has opened a strike fund. This arrives alongside the initiation of its own work stoppage, calling for its demands to be met and worker representation within the company.

The GoFundMe page lays out a timeline of allegations and reports on incidents within the company.

“In the months since, we’ve seen CEO Bobby Kotick and the Board of Directors protect abusers and only hold perpetrators accountable after the events were brought to light by outside media,” reads their statement. “We’ve seen Activision hire law firm WilmerHale, known for union busting, to disrupt and impede the improvement efforts of Activision-Blizzard workers. We’ve seen Raven Software workers lured by the promise of promotion, only to be terminated shortly after relocation on top of the already underappreciated and severely underpaid working conditions of ABK workers across the company.”

These events and others, the organizers say, have led an alliance of Activision Blizzard workers to hold a work stoppage until demands are met. The strike fund will, to that extent, contribute to offsetting wages lost from the work stoppage. They’ll also go towards the potential relocation of Raven Software employees who were “forced to move without financial assistance at the insistence of Activision Blizzard,” as reported at outlets like Uppercut.

The Washington Post also reports that employees, working with the Communication Workers of America, are asking workers to sign union authorization cards.

Employees from Raven Software and other branches had already formed a walkout in protest of sudden layoffs earlier this week. In emails seen by The Washington Post, management told workers that their wages would be paid for Monday through Wednesday, but not any further. Any who continue to strike will be unpaid or dipping into their paid time off.

We’ve reached out to Activision Blizzard for comment.

This is another point in the timeline of ongoing tensions at Activision Blizzard. Since the announcement of the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing’s suit against the publisher over allegations of discrimination, harassment, and a toxic culture, more stories have come out and employees have held escalating demonstrations, calling for their demands to be met. All this, on the same day as The Game Awards 2021, could be what kickstarts a larger shift in the industry.

Eric Van Allen