Activision Blizzard Employees Say Leadership Is “Radio Silent” Over Meeting Striking Workers

It’s been a lit­tle over a month since Activi­sion Bliz­zard employ­ees went on strike fol­low­ing the unex­pect­ed fir­ing of con­trac­tors work­ing on the Raven Soft­ware QA team. Since then, employ­ees have repeat­ed­ly gath­ered to share their demands from the com­pa­ny in an effort to “fos­ter a trans­par­ent and trust­ing rela­tion­ship” and have easy nego­ti­a­tions. It seems, despite best attempts, a cur­rent Raven employ­ee is now say­ing there has been no move­ment towards reconciliation.

A recent report by Inverse, in which they spoke with both for­mer and cur­rent Activi­sion Bliz­zard employ­ees about the com­pa­ny’s work­ing con­di­tions, along with the ongo­ing strike. Jes­si­ca Gon­za­lez, the founder and orga­niz­er of ABet­ter­ABK (A Bet­ter Activi­sion, Bliz­zard, and King), says that despite sev­er­al requests for the QA team to meet with the lead­er­ship to have a dis­cus­sion about the cur­rent ongo­ing cri­sis, lead­er­ship “has­n’t opened a dia­logue” with the work­ers. Her claim was fur­ther backed by two cur­rent Raven Soft­ware employ­ees, both of which who chose to con­ceal their identity.

QA has not been involved in any of these dis­cus­sions,” the first employ­ee said when speak­ing to Inverse. “Our request to meet with lead­er­ship has been met with radio silence.”

The sec­ond employ­ee added upon this com­ment, saying:

Activision’s silence is some­thing we expect­ed, but were nev­er­the­less dis­ap­point­ed to see. The com­pa­ny con­tin­ues to pub­licly state how it wants to devel­op a clear line of com­mu­ni­ca­tion between man­age­ment and employ­ees while active­ly going against its claims of trans­paren­cy behind closed doors. ABK is not look­ing to change its tox­ic ways and improve the com­pa­ny cul­ture any­time soon.”

The arti­cle also detailed some of the gen­er­al mis­treat­ment many QA testers go through while work­ing in the indus­try. From bru­tal hours and crunch time, to not be giv­en (or offered) ben­e­fits, sta­bil­i­ty, or prop­er recog­ni­tion for the work they do.

Accord­ing to anoth­er anony­mous source, “Many testers stay with the com­pa­ny for years but are forced to take unpaid breaks between con­tracts so they can legal­ly remain ‘tem­po­rary employ­ees.’ Tem­po­rary con­tracts do not include the ben­e­fits or bonus­es giv­en to reg­u­lar full-time employ­ees. QA work­ers are stuck work­ing full-time hours and fre­quent over­time, doing vital work for the devel­op­ment process with­out ever receiv­ing the ben­e­fits that are giv­en to oth­er departments.”

Unfor­tu­nate­ly, this report is just the lat­est in a long line of cor­po­rate mis­han­dling by the com­pa­ny. Activi­sion Bliz­zard has been under inves­ti­ga­tion since July 2021, due to numer­ous reports of sex­ism, dis­crim­i­na­tion, and uneth­i­cal work­ing conditions.

I am a Platinum lover and an ex- Cod-aholic. I've been playing games since I was 5 years old and I refuse to quit, despite my mother's attempts to get me to. God of War and its successors are my all time favorite games.

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