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As the Communications Workers of America continues to battle to establish its first union within Activision Blizzard, the labor giant has filed a new unfair labor practices charge against the company.
The CWA, which is currently attempting to institute a union at company subsidiary Raven Software representing Quality Assurance workers, filed a complaint claiming that the video game holding company “threatened employees that they should not discuss issues concerning wages hours [sic] and working conditions on Slack.”
According to the union, the instigating incident involved an employee posting a story on a department Slack channel about the ongoing California Department of Fair Employment and Housing lawsuit alleging sexual misconduct and discriminatory hiring practices at Activision Blizzard while asserting the company “continues to show a lack of concern for the well-being of employees.” The worker subsequently called on other workers to “hold the company accountable,” per the CWA. The union said it was unable to discuss the details of the alleged threat at this time.
The union is claiming the alleged behavior violates sections of the National Labor Relations Act’s protections of “concerted activities” to form a union or “take action for their mutual aid or protection,” such as talking with one another regarding pay and working conditions. The Hollywood Reporter has reached out to Activision Blizzard for comment.
This is the second unfair labor practice charge that the CWA has filed against the Call of Duty maker — in December the union claimed that the company had made “coercive statements,” attempting to prevent workers from engaging in walkouts and organizing activities. That case is still open and subject to investigation.
Meanwhile, on April 22, after debate between the union and company over whether the Raven Software group had an appropriate bargaining unit and whether an election could occur after an organizational restructuring of the department, an NLRB regional director ruled that the union’s proposed bargaining unit was legitimate and a union election could take place, setting the stage for the election to occur on May 23.
This labor turmoil is happening against the backdrop of Activision Blizzard’s impending $68.7 billion acquisition by Microsoft, a deal that was approved by Activision Blizzard shareholders on Thursday. While regulators must still allow the deal to go through, the acquisition is expected to take place during the fiscal year ending June 30, 2023.
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