Saturday, November 27, 2021

Activision Blizzard employees say CEO’s letter ‘fails to address’ key concerns

In a new letter, Activision Blizzard employees said that CEO Bobby Kotick’s note addressing allegations of sexual harassment and workplace discrimination at the company “fails to address critical elements at the heart of employee concerns.” Last week, California’s Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) filed a huge lawsuit against the company bringing the allegations to light.

Staff slammed the company’s initial response to the lawsuit, and in Wednesday’s response, the employees said they are pleased to see that they have “convinced leadership to change the tone of their communications.” But employees point out that Kotick’s letter does not address some key areas of concern, including ending forced arbitration for all employees and the need for greater pay transparency. We have published the employees’ full response at the end of this article.

Employees are set to walk out in response to the company’s handling of the allegations at 1PM ET / 10AM PT. Activision Blizzard leadership informed employees Tuesday that they won’t receive repercussions for attending and will receive paid time off.

Here is the employees’ response:

On the evening before our employee walkout, Activision Blizzard leadership released a statement apologizing for their harmful responses to last week’s DFEH lawsuit. While we are pleased to see that our collective voices — including an open letter with thousands of signatures from current employees — have convinced leadership to change the tone of their communications, this response fails to address critical elements at the heart of employee concerns.

Activision Blizzard’s response did not address the following:

All employees must be free from forced arbitration

Participation of workers in the oversight of hiring and promotion policies

Increased transparency regarding pay is essential to ensure equality.

Third party audit of HR and other company processes.

Today’s walkout will demonstrate that this is not a one-time event that our leaders can ignore. We will not revert to silence and we will not accept the same process that brought us here.

This is the beginning a long-lasting movement to improve labor conditions for all employees.

We expect prompt responses and a commitment from the leadership to take action on the points above. We look forward to continuing a constructive dialogue about how to make Activision Blizzard better for all employees.

Today, we stand for change. Tomorrow and beyond, our goal is to be the change.

Zoe Schiffer contributed reporting.

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