Activision Blizzard accused of spying on protesting workers

Activision Blizzard continues to receive complaints about alleged labor law violations. The Communications Workers of America Union (CWA) has filed an unfair labor practices indictment accusing the game developer of illegally monitoring workers during a strike in July against gender inequality. The company also denied access to a chat channel where working conditions were discussed and otherwise cut off internal avenues to discuss working conditions, the CWA said.

In statements to Engadget, Activision Blizzard generally denied the claims. It said the chat allegations were false and that the CWA’s longstanding characterization “willfully ignores the facts” while preventing the company from protecting workers from abuse. The company also argued that its only overseers of strikes were public relations staff, who stood at a “respectful distance” to answer questions from the press.

The company previously said it is cooperating with investigations into its workplace practices, arguing that employees are free to speak out about their workplace situations. However, the CWA claimed that the Call of Duty publisher had made “continued efforts” to suppress unions, such as refusing to recognize a quality assurance union and hiring anti-union law firm Reed Smith.

The indictment is the latest in a series of work-related allegations that go beyond the sexual harassment scandal that sparked much of the current uproar. The CWA filed an indictment in June alleging that Activision Blizzard violated labor laws by firing QA contractors. In May, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) found allegations that the company had threatened union organizations to be well founded. Multiple reports have also circulated claims that the gaming giant has been spreading anti-union messages.

The new complaint doesn’t necessarily change Activision Blizzard’s predicament. The company risks penalties and mandatory policy changes if found to be violating labor laws. However, the indictment adds further pressure and could affect a possible punishment.

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https://www.engadget.com/activision-blizzard-walkout-cwa-charge-204543422.html?src=rss Activision Blizzard accused of spying on protesting workers

Russell Falcon

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