Activision Blizzard workers walk out over abortion rights and union busting

Activision Blizzard workers walk out over abortion rights and union busting

Employees at Activision Blizzard walked out yesterday over abortion rights and to protest some of the union-busting tactics the company is alleged to have used.

As reported by The Washington Post, over 450 members of staff walked out both in person and online primarily to force the Call of Duty giant to relocate workers in states with antiabortion legislation to different parts of the country. This comes in the wake of Roe v Wade being overturned by the US Supreme Court. The walk out took place yesterday (Thursday, July 21st).

“We need to make sure that all of our LGBT people, all of the people at ABK [Activision Blizzard King] with the capacity for pregnancy, all of the women at the company feel safe and protected and that they have the ability to live in places that aren’t going to actively harm them,” World of Warcraft senior engineer Valentine Powell said.

Staff are also asking that Activision Blizzard sign a labour neutrality agreement, which would require it to respect the rights of workers to unionise. This comes in the wake of allegations that the publishing giant has been engaging in union-busting tactics or trying to discourage workers from collective bargaining.

“We support the right of our employees to express their views and values in a safe, responsible way, without fear of retaliation. There are numerous ways they can do so publicly or confidentially,” Activision Blizzard spokesperson Rich George said.

“Our leadership team remains focused on ensuring we are the very best place to work. This includes ensuring gender equity throughout the company and comprehensive access to reproductive and other health care services for every employee.”

Earlier this year, the QA department at Activision Blizzard's Raven Software successfully unionised. Now Blizzard Albany's quality assurance team is looking to do the same

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.