Activision Blizzard workers are angling for a union, but there's one party that thinks that's not a good idea for those workers: Activision Blizzard.
Chief Administrative Officer Brian Bulatao today sent an email to all employees at Activision and Blizzard, including noted activist leader Jessica Gonzalez, who recently announced that she was leaving the company and had her last day in the office today. She shared the text of the email via Twitter:
— Jessica Gonzalez 💙 #WeAreRaven (@BlizzJess) December 10, 2021
Bulatao referenced the 500 temporary workers that the company is moving to full-time, which became a topic of conversation after a dozen QA staff at Raven Software were let go. He mentioned other initiatives that the company had announced while stating, unequivocally, that the company fully supports workers' rights to form a union.
However, Bulatao called into question efforts to do so, saying that it anyone who did would lose "your ability to negotiate all your own working conditions." He said that it would be better to have "active, transparent dialogue between leaders and employees" and that "if we fail to do the things we're committed to doing -- then of course, you will still always have the right to engage with, and vote for, CWA." [Communication Workers of America]
In other words, Bulatao said "Trust us, and we'll work it all out." The problem? Nobody trusts Activision Blizzard any more.
That includes the fans and definitely the workers, considering how the company initially shouted down their claims of harassment as "distorted, and in many cases false," "reprimanded" several employees for their behavior despite announcing a "zero-tolerance" policy, saw Blizzard's female "co-leader" leave the company because she wasn't being paid as much as her male counterpart, and has its CEO standing accused of much of the behavior he supposedly denounces and whose board of directors supports him.
As many have said in respose, Bulatao's letter utilizes classic "union-busting" language, such as trying to scare workers about a process they might not be personally familiar with and giving up their individual autonomy in negotiations, saying that "we" the company have your best interests in mind (really!), and insisting that things will be better if you just trust us to fix things -- things that have been a problem for over a decade and are not being fixed at a suitable pace now.
As with previous communications from the C-suite regarding all of these affairs, this latest message has only served to anger and further discourage people -- including some with actual financial power over the company -- that the current leadership is in any way capable of correcting the mess that it has caused. The only thing that's "transparent" about all of this are the desparate pleas from Activision Blizzard's top brass to allow them to retain their positions.
About the Author
Jason Winter is a veteran gaming journalist, he brings a wide range of experience to MMOBomb, including two years with Beckett Media where he served as the editor of the leading gaming magazine Massive Online Gamer. He has also written professionally for several gaming websites.
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