US union says Activision Blizzard's $18m settlement not enough

US union says Activision Blizzard's $18m settlement not enough

The Campaign to Organize Digital Employees (CODE) branch of the Communications Workers of America (CWA) union has said that the $18 million that Activision Blizzard has put aside to settle with victims of harassment and gender discrimination is not enough.

In a post on Twitter, the organisation said that this amount is a "slap in the face" to workers at the publishing giant, especially when you match the $18 million to the $72 billion that Activision Blizzard is currently worth.

This was echoed in a full statement from CWA secretary-treasurer Sara Steffens, also on Twitter.

"Yesterday’s insufficient EEOC settlement made it clear that the thousands of Activision Blizzard workers who have suffered from years of toxic workplace misconduct on behalf of Activision Blizzard will not receive true justice,” she said.

"Activision Blizzard is worth $72 billion—an $18 million settlement is mere pennies considering the resources available to this cash-rich corporation. Even worse, Activision Blizzard’s management does not acknowledge that their actions harmed their workers, viewing the settlement as a very small price to pay to rid themselves of a ‘distraction’.

"The US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has sent a message that corporate bad actors will not be held accountable for their abuse of workers. We hope enforcement staff at the SEC, NLRB, and the California DFEH are paying attention and choose to truly hold Activision Blizzard accountable on behalf of the company's 10,000 workers."

An Activision Blizzard spokesperson added: "We agreed on $18 million with the EEOC, who is expert in this area. The EEOC will make an independent assessment of each claim they receive. Any employee who believes they have been the subject of harassment or retaliation should contact the EEOC. There will be multiple communications channels providing information on how to make a claim. We want the EEOC to know about everyone who believes they have suffered harassment or retaliation."

Activision Blizzard said earlier this week that it had settled a lawsuit with EEOC. Said settlement has been agreed between the two parties, but still needs court approval.

The company is also facing a lawsuit from DFEH, as well as an investigation from the SEC. The CWA has also filed a complaint against Activision Blizzard to the National Labor Relations Board.

PCGamesInsider Contributing Editor

Alex Calvin is a freelance journalist who writes about the business of games. He started out at UK trade paper MCV in 2013 and left as deputy editor over three years later. In June 2017, he joined Steel Media as the editor for new site In October 2019 he left this full-time position at the company but still contributes to the site on a daily basis. He has also written for, VGC, Games London, The Observer/Guardian and Esquire UK.