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    Saturday, April 1, 2023

    Activision Blizzard Accused of Spying, Threatening Employees

    A federal labour agency alleged on Friday that Activision Blizzard had illegally surveilled workers during a walkout and threatened to shut down internal chat channels as a union attempted to organise its staff.

    According to a National Labor Relations Board spokesman, the organisation will file a complaint against Activision if it doesn't reach a settlement regarding workers from its subsidiary Blizzard Entertainment who are based in California and three other states.

    The Call of Duty creator has been charged with a number of illegal labour practises by the Communication Workers of America union (CWA), which has attempted to organise video game testers and other staff members at the corporation and its subsidiaries.

    The nation-wide strike by Blizzard employees last year was in protest of what they perceived to be a lack of gender equality at the firm.

    According to Kayla Blado, a labour board spokesperson, a regional agency official had agreed with the CWA's assertion that Activision employed security personnel to monitor employees throughout the strike.

    The corporation was also found to have violated the law by threatening to ban internal Slack forums where workers routinely discussed working conditions, Blado said.

    In a response, an Activision representative defended the company's capacity to stop "toxic workplace behaviour."

    According to the representative, "CWA wants us to accept their... bogus accusations, but we firmly believe employees shouldn't have to put up with insults and put downs for their hard work - especially on business communication channels."

    An enquiry for comments was not immediately answered by the union.

    Activision is already the subject of a different NLRB complaint from last year, which alleges that the business utilised a policy restricting what employees can post on social media to prevent them from reporting working conditions. According to Activision, their social media policy is legitimate and does not prevent employees from exercising their legal rights under US labour law.

    Employees at Activision companies in Wisconsin and New York recently decided to join the CWA, and those in Boston are pushing for an election. Activision has stated that it is examining its options in such circumstances.

    Microsoft, the manufacturer of the Xbox, last year agreed to purchase Activision for $69 billion. US and European antitrust authorities have been reviewing the transaction.

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