CWA Files Charges Against Activision Blizzard Following Firings
02/03/2023 a las 12:06
The Communications Workers of America has filed new charges against Activision Blizzard after two Quality Assurance testers were fired for using profane and abusive language in protest of the company's decision to
end most work from home practices
reported by Kotaku
, the charges have been filed against Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick directly, claiming that the firings were in response to a protected union activity, although the legalities are not quite clear as the CWA also points out that those particular protections changed within the last few years.
“Two QA testers expressed their outrage using strong language. In response, management set up disciplinary meetings where both workers were fired.”
The CWA argue that “the use of outbursts and strong language in the context of concerted activity by employees was protected by the National Labor Relations Board” until as recently as 2020, before the Trump administration “systematically rolled back workers’ rights, including modifying the standard for determining whether employees have been lawfully disciplined or discharged after making offensive statements, which ultimately limits free speech rights for employees.”
Activision disagrees. “We don’t allow employees to use profane or abusive language against each other,” a spokesperson for the company, Joseph Christinat, told Kotaku. “We’re disappointed the CWA advocates this type of behavior.”
This suggests that while the use of harsh language towards fellow employees while protesting may have been protected at one time, it might not be anymore, therefore weakening the union's case. The CWA also added that Activision "improperly denied a request to have a coworker witness the disciplinary meeting which preceded the termination of employment," going further to decry the company treating its quality assurance workers as "disposable work horses."
Of course, this isn't the first time the CWA has set its sites on Activision or its CEO Bobby Kotick either.
Unfair labor charges
were filed in September 2021, attempted to
intervene in Activision Blizzard's settlement
with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission the following month, and were directly involved in the formation of Activision's first unions at
this past year.
update on GamesIndustry.biz
notes that the regional office of the National Labor Relations Board will investigate the CWA's charges.
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