Proletariat Unionization Bid Ends After Activision Blizzard’s Successful Unionbusting Tactics [UPDATE]

Ule Lopez
Activision Blizzard Proletariat

UPDATE: Blizzard has issued a statement regarding the decision made by Proletariat, arguing that the withdrawal of the CWA petition is an acknowledgement that workers at Proletariat didn't want the union to come to fruition:

The CWA’s withdrawal of this petition is an acknowledgment that Proletariat workers didn’t actually want this. It validates the brave employees who spoke up about feeling pressured by the CWA’s campaign, and it’s why we have supported confidential elections that include all affected workers and lets them vote in private, free from pressure and intimidation.

Additionally, Blizzard also sent a statement regarding the claims to CEO Seth Sivak of demoralizing employees:

That is totally false. The Proletariat CEO was responding to concerns from employees who felt pressured or intimidated by CWA and wanted more information about what joining a union could mean. He was defending his employees' right to express their true preferences in a private vote, so they couldn't be targeted for their perspectives – like he himself is being targeted by the CWA right now.

ORIGINAL: A few weeks ago, we talked about how Proletariat, an Activision Blizzard subsidiary, sought to become unionized after the successful unionization of studios like Blizzard Albany and Raven Software. Unfortunately for the Proletariat workers, the Communication Workers of America has ended its bid to launch a union vote on this studio.

According to the CWA, the main culprit behind this walk back is the CEO of Proletariat, Seth Sivak. Here's what the CWA had to say about Seth, as stated by Gamesindustry.biz:

Unfortunately, Proletariat CEO Seth Sivak chose to follow Activision Blizzard's lead and responded to the workers' desire to form a union with confrontational tactics. Like many founders, he took the workers' concerns as a personal attack and held a series of meetings that demoralized and disempowered the group, making a free and fair election impossible.

As we have seen at Microsoft's Zenimax studio, there is another path forward, one that empowers workers through a free and fair process, without intimidation or manipulation by the employer. We will continue to advocate alongside workers in the video game industry for better working conditions, higher standards and a union voice.

So, that's going to be the end of the story for now. The Proletariat union isn't going to happen. Unfortunately, not every bid for unionization will be successful. Of course, it probably didn't help that both Activision Blizzard and Proletariat leadership refused neutrality discussions while pretending that they don't pull unionbusting tactics.

This news definitely isn't the only source of bad things happening to Activision Blizzard. Recently, we saw the outcome of its failed partnership with NetEase, which culminated with various services tied to the company being forced to end in China. Additionally, one of World of Warcraft's key lead developers (Brian Birmingham) was also ousted after refusing to comply with the company's evaluation system. So, overall, things are still not looking good for the company.

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