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    Activision Blizzard accused of spying on workers amid unionization efforts

    The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has accused video game publisher Activision Blizzard of illegally surveilling and intimidating employees during unionization efforts at the company. According to the Communication Workers of America (CWA) union, Activision Blizzard has engaged in unlawful labor practices as the union has attempted to help workers organize.

    A spokesperson for the NLRB stated that unless Activision agrees to a settlement, the board will issue a complaint against the company in California and three other states. In response, an Activision spokesperson claimed that the allegations from the CWA were false and that the company is committed to combating toxic workplace culture.

    Unionization efforts at Activision Blizzard have been gradually gaining momentum, with employees staging a walkout last year to protest the lack of gender equality at the company. The CWA alleges that Activision deployed security staff to monitor workers during the walkout and threatened to shut down internal chat channels where employees frequently discussed working conditions. Both claims were reportedly found to have merit by the NLRB.

    These accusations of union-busting at Activision Blizzard come at an inopportune time for the company, which is currently in the process of being acquired by Microsoft. The deal has yet to be finalized, as it faces scrutiny from the Federal Trade Commission and the European Commission, but approval is expected by the end of April.

    This is not the first time Activision has faced anti-union complaints. Last year, the NLRB filed a separate complaint alleging that the company used a policy restricting employee posts on social media to prevent them from discussing working conditions.

    The NLRB’s findings of illegal surveillance and intimidation during employee walkouts and threats to shut down internal communication channels raise further concerns about the working environment at Activision Blizzard. As the company faces ongoing scrutiny and unionization efforts, it remains to be seen how these allegations will impact its acquisition by Microsoft and its overall corporate image.

    Author

    author avatar
    Anubha Pandey

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