Employees at Activision Blizzard are planning a walkout Wednesday to protest the company's response to a lawsuit about its alleged history of sexism and demanding more equitable treatment for staff, Bloomberg reported.
The California Department of Fair Employment and Housing sued Activision Blizzard last week after investigating what it found to be a culture of sexism and discrimination in which women were allegedly sexually harassed, assaulted, underpaid and retaliated against.
When Activision Blizzard's official statement called the allegations false and distorted — and executive vice president Fran Townsend sent a letter to staff reiterating that stance — employees began organizing against their company. An open letter sent to management condemning the public statement has accrued more than 2,000 signatures as of Tuesday, and now employees plan to strike.
Employees at Activision Blizzard who are organizing the walkout told Bloomberg their goal was to "improve conditions for employees at the company, especially women, and in particular women of color and transgender women, nonbinary people, and other marginalized groups."
The full list of demands is as follows:
- That Activision ditch mandatory arbitration clauses “in all employee contracts, current and future.”
- New practices for recruiting, interviewing, hiring and promotion that facilitate better representation “agreed upon by employees in a company-wide Diversity, Equity & Inclusion organization.”
- The publication of data on relative compensation, promotion rates and salary ranges for employees “of all genders and ethnicities at the company.”
- That a diversity task force be allowed to hire a third party to audit the company’s leadership, hierarchy and HR department. “It is imperative to identify how current systems have failed to prevent employee harassment, and to propose new solutions to address these issues.”
The walkout will reportedly take place at Blizzard's Irvine, California campus.
This is the second major attempt at organizing from Activision Blizzard employees. Last year, many shared their salaries in a public spreadsheet and demanded more equitable pay. That action prompted very little response from management, but a representative for the Activision Blizzard employees organizing Wednesday's walkout said there were no ongoing discussions of unionization.