Activist workers file federal labor board complaint against Activision

Activist workers file federal labor board complaint against Activision

The Activision Blizzard Inc. filed a federal labor board complaint against Bloomberg - A union in the court battle over workplace rights at the video game maker.

The federal labor relations board complaint filed by the Communications Workers of America accuses Activision of violating federal labor laws through coercive rules, actions and statements.

The employer had warned employees that they cannot talk about or communicate about wages, hours and working conditions according to a copy of the complaint provided by CWA. The document also accuses Activision of illegally telling staff they can t discuss ongoing investigations; threatening or disciplining employees because of their activism, deploying surveillance and interrogations targeting legal protected activism and maintaining a social media policy that infringes on workers rights.

The agency s docket shows that CWA s complaint was filed Sept. 10, 2015. Activision didn t reply to requests for comment Tuesday.

Activision Blizzard, which creates games like Call of Duty and World of Warcraft, is embroiled in controversy over its treatment of employees. Activision sued the Department of Fair Employment and Housing in July, alleging the company fostered a frat boy culture in which female employees were subjected to sexual harassment, pay inequality and retaliation. Days later, an employee walkout drew hundreds of demonstrators to the sidewalks of the company s corporate campus in Southern California.

In a July email to employees, Activision's Chief Compliance Officer, who served as Homeland Security Advisor to President George W. Bush, called the California agency's claims factually incorrect, old and out of context. Complaints filed with the labor board are investigated by administrative divisions and can be tried if found to have merit and not settled, by the agency's general counsel and heard by regional law judges. The rulings can be appealed to federal members in Washington, D.C. from there and then in a federal court. The agency can justify remedies such as writing of notices and reversals of policies or punishments, but has no authority to impose punitive damages.

CWA, which has increasingly focused on organizing non-union video game and tech workers in recent years, said in an emailed statement that it was very inspired by the bravery of Activision employees and filed with the labor board to ensure that violations by the company will not go unanswered.