Activision Blizzard Worker Group Vows To Continue Fight For Reform In Wake Of Microsoft Purchase
Microsoft's big announcement doesn't change the reality for many working at Activision Blizzard. Raven Software's QA Staff is still on strike, Activision Blizzard is still trying to stop employees from unionizing, and although the company has fired 37 employees, allegations of abuse and discrimination are so widespread that it hardly seems to have made a dent.
Employee activist group ABetterABK has vowed to continue pushing for substantial change at Activision Blizzard even as the company experiences a substantial change in leadership. "The news of Activision's acquisition by Microsoft is surprising, but does not change the goals of the ABK Worker's Alliance," ABetterABK said in a statement. “We remain committed to fighting for workplace improvements and the rights of our employees regardless of who is financially in control of the company.
“We will continue to work alongside our allies across the gaming industry to push for measurable change in an industry that desperately needs it. We called for the removal of Bobby Kotick as CEO in November for shielding abusers and he still remains CEO as of this writing.”
ABetterABK noted that Raven Software's QA department is still on strike and has not yet received a response from Activision Blizzard leadership regarding its demands. This is in stark contrast to a statement Activision Blizzard made just last week stating that it was in contact with Raven strike leaders.
While Activision Blizzard has suffered several disruptions since allegations of widespread employee abuse broke last summer, the Raven strike has easily been the longest disruption so far. Raven's entire QA staff walked off the job last month to protest the sudden and unexpected firing of 12 employees considered essential to the department's day-to-day operations. Worse, those same staffers were promised full-time positions after moving to a new office in Wisconsin–a move that Activision Blizzard refused to pay for.
Microsoft stated in its acquisition of Activision that it planned to retain embattled CEO Bobby Kotick, however, The Wall Street Journal now reports that Kotick will gracefully exit as soon as the deal is complete. If that’s true, Xbox leaders will hopefully step in to address Raven’s demands to put an end to the ongoing strike.
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