Activision Blizzard has been named in an unfair labor practices complaint by the Communications Workers of America, which represents Game Workers Alliance. The complaint was filed over recently-hired Lulu Cheng Meservey, who joined this month as Executive Vice President, Corporate Affairs and Chief Communications Officer, allegedly Sending a company-wide slack message that disparaged and discouraged unionization efforts.
This new complaint to the National Labor Relations Board is the fourth unfair labor complaint against Activision Blizzard since 2021. Meservey was hired as of October 6th and, after QA employees at Blizzard Albany, the studio previously known as Vicarious Visions, won the right to hold a union vote, was accused of union busting statements. Last week, Meservey’s statements were shared by CWA’s Jessica Gonzalez, a former Blizzard employee and co-founder of A Better ABK.
New Activision Blizzard union bust just dropped. The irony of the communications channel being locked and they’re still using the “we’d like a direct communication” line. Clown show ?? how dare you undermine Game Workers Alliance when ABK refuses to bargain in good faith. pic.twitter.com/aIsBVtdaO5— Jessica Gonzalez???(she/her) BOOnion lady ?? (@_TechJess) October 19, 2022
In the Slack message, Meservey acknowledges that Blizzard Albany will get a union vote and says that the company “fully respects the NLRB process, and fully supports the employees’ right to choose How they want to be represented. Also has the view that people who work closely together should be able to make decisions like that collectively–i.e. we disagree that a handful of employees should get to decide for everyone else on the future of the entire Albany-based Diablo team. We think a direct dialogue between company and employees is the most productive route."
She then says that collective bargaining is very slow and even when an agreement is in place, the process could take over a year. After this, her points once again restate the preference for direct dialogue and include claims that union employees get lower pay raises than those who aren’t unionized.
The new complaint filed by the CWA is alleging that these messages and subsequent comments are in essence, union busting and a level of intimidation. According to the CWA on Twitter:
“Last week, Meservey sent a company-wide Slack message disparaging the union, making threats to withhold raises and benefit improvements from workers who joined the union, and giving workers an impression that their union affiliation and/or support was under surveillance”
The original Slack message was posted without any ability to respond to it with any direct dialogue, though employees that saw it reportedly responded with downvotes and angry emoji.