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Activision Blizzard studio says CEO pressure stymied their union efforts

Proletariat union cites “confrontational tactics” from CEO that “took their toll.”



<img src="×450.png" alt="A scene from Proletariat's Spellbreak illustrating union members dodging alleged management interference.”>

Enlarge / A scene from Proletariat’s Spellbreak illustrating union members dodging alleged management interference.

Last month, workers at Spellbreak studio Proletariat became the third group within Activision Blizzard to form a union. Today, though, the Communication Workers of America is pulling back on its push for a National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) election that could have forced parent company Activision Blizzard to recognize that union. In doing so, the CWA cites actions by Proletariat CEO Seth Sivak that have made “a free and fair election impossible.”

In a statement provided to Ars Technica, a CWA spokesperson said Sivak “chose to follow Activision Blizzard’s lead and responded to the workers’ desire to form a union with confrontational tactics.” Those tactics include “a series of meetings that demoralized and disempowered the group,” according to the CWA.

Proletariat Software Engineer Dustin Yost said in an accompanying statement that those management meetings “took their toll” on the group by “fram[ing] the conversation as a personal betrayal, instead [of] respecting our right to join together to protect ourselves and have a seat at the table…”

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