Activision Blizzard Exec Sends Union-Busting Email To Workers

Activision Blizzard Exec Sends Union-Busting Email To Workers

A middle-aged man in a suit frowns during a congressional hearing.

Brian Bulatao attending a House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs hearing on September 16, 2020 Photo: Pool (Getty Images)

With Activision Blizzard employees more organized than ever in the wake of society several prosecutions for sexual harassment and layoffs in quality assurance, a senior executive apparently felt the time had come to send an alarmist email warning workers of the vague “consequences” of unionization.

The author of the email, Brian Bulatao, is a buddy of Donald Trump Activision Blizzard has been appointed COO. earlier this year. During his time in politics, Bulatao is said to have acted at one point as the “attack dog” of former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. “Intimidation” of former Inspector General Steve Linick as Linick investigated the Trump administration’s 2019 $ 8 billion arms sale to Saudi Arabia.

Here’s what Bulatao had to tell Activision Blizzard employees in a company-wide email this morning (emphasis added), Courtesy of Organizer and Senior Test Analyst Jessica Gonzalez:


At Activision Blizzard, we work hard to create a more inclusive, supportive and rewarding environment, and thanks to your contribution, we are making progress.

Over the past few months, we have announced that we are converting nearly 500 temporary workers to full-time employees at Activision Publishing studios, and we have increased wages for a large portion of temporary workers and added benefits for paid time off. . We have introduced a zero tolerance policy on harassment and have waived the arbitration required for complaints of sexual harassment and discrimination. We have made significant commitments to increase gender diversity and are dedicating $ 250 million to accelerate opportunities for diverse talent in the industry. We have more to do and we believe that direct dialogue between management and employees is essential to the success of Activision Blizzard.

As you may have seen yesterday, there was a communication supported by the Communications Workers of America (CWA) that required employees to sign and submit union authorization cards. Let me be clear on this: the management of Activision Blizzard supports your right, under the [sic] National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), to make your own decision about whether or not to join a union.

As you make this decision for your future, we only ask that you take the time to consider the consequences of your signing on the binding legal document presented to you by CWA. Once you have signed this document, you will have ceded to CWA the exclusive right to “represent [you] for the purposes of collective bargaining regarding all conditions of employment. This means that your ability to negotiate all of your own working conditions will be entrusted to CWA, as the document says.

Achieving our cultural aspirations in the workplace will best require an active and transparent dialogue between managers and employees on which we can act quickly. This is the best solution than simply signing an electronic form offered to you by CWA or waiting for the outcome of a legally mandated and regulated negotiation process in the future.

If we fail to meet the goals we set for ourselves in the workplace, if we fail to do the things we are committed to doing, then of course you will still have the right to commit and to vote for CWA. But we are confident that we will make the progress we previously pledged to make and work with you to create a workplace we can all be proud of.

As always, we welcome communication with concerns or ideas to help make improvements, and there are multiple channels of internal dialogue, both direct and anonymous.


Bulatao’s email smacks of desperation, yet another attempt by Activision Blizzard management, who had previously hired an anti-union law firm, to subdue the company’s besieged workforce before employees realize the power they hold. The memo’s message is explicitly inspired by decades of rhetoric launched by predatory bosses terrified of collective action. The only thing missing is a reference to Activision Blizzard as a family, although it is clear that management would prefer the organization’s many issues to be addressed internally, away from public scrutiny when their decisions inevitably harm workers and benefit managers.

Since yesterday, the defense group ABK Workers Alliance raised over $ 235,000 in the strike funds of employees of Raven Software, a subsidiary of Activision Blizzard, who entered this morning in the fifth day of their walkout in response to recent layoffs in the quality assurance department. While organizing has been underway at Activision Blizzard for months, a worker told Kotaku that the situation at Raven Software provided a “spark” to move forward openly with organizational efforts.

“There is still a long way to go,” said Valentine Powell, World of Warcraft organizer and senior user interface engineer. recently explained via Twitter, “But we want to support our colleagues through [Activision Blizzard King] to finally have a real voice in the management of our companies, because in recent months and years, we have seen our leadership continue to ignore the needs of its employees. Thousands of ABK employees have put their careers and safety on the line for years trying to make our businesses better and safer places to work. We exhausted as many avenues as we could before we turned to organizing. “

Read more: Inside the revolt that led to the historic push to organize workers at Activision Blizzard

In the United States, with workers openly expressing their displeasure at the country’s largely obnoxious labor practices – in part thanks to the covid-19 pandemic exacerbating existing problems – it was only a matter of time before the labor organization does not take root in the video game industry. And now that that momentum is building up, it’s hard to see it ending any time soon, whether bosses like it or not.


Article source


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here