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Activision Blizzard Employees Commit to Strike, Establish Strike Fund

The ABK Workers Alliance has organized a fund to support employees who aren't being paid during the strike.
The ABK Workers Alliance has organized a fund to support employees who aren't being paid during the strike. / Photo courtesy of ABK Workers Alliance

A group of workers at Activision Blizzard King announced a strike at the company Thursday morning, establishing a GoFundMe-based strike fund to support employees going without payment.

Walkouts began earlier this week, when quality assurance testers at the ABK-owned Raven Software walked off the job to protest a sudden round of layoffs at the studio. Workers across ABK's other studios, including employees at Blizzard, joined the walkout effort Tuesday. Initial demands included the re-instatement of the laid off Raven QA testers.

The strike fund, established by the ABK Workers Alliance, cites these factors and the company's response to revelations about its sexist and toxic workplace as reasons for a strike to continue "until demands are met and worker representation is finally given a place within the company."

Neither the ABK Workers Alliance nor Activision Blizzard immediately returned a request for comment.

Workers at the company will be paid their wages for Monday through Wednesday of the walkout, but continued work stoppages will not be compensated, The Washington Post reports. The ABK Workers Alliance strike fund aims to raise $1 million to support striking workers, and has pulled in $15,000 since 9 a.m. ET.

"Workers deserve better, and [CEO] Bobby Kotick is continuing to ignore us," organizer and senior test analyst Jessica Gonzalez told The Post. Gonzalez has been a leading face for the ABK Workers Alliance, but has announced she plans to leave the company later this week.

Employees at ABK are collaborating with the Communications Workers of America, a media labor union, to ask workers to sign a union authorization card, per The Post. That could lead to a companywide vote on unionization, the first formal step toward the establishment of a union.

Organizing at Activision Blizzard began earlier this year, in the wake of bombshell investigations into the company's work culture of gender-based discrimination, sexual harassment and toxicity. The company remains under investigation by the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing and the Securities Exchange Commission, and calls for the resignation of CEO Bobby Kotick continue to sound across the industry.