Activision Blizzard employee group A Better ABK have called for a new staff walkout. The employee-led Committee Against Sex And Gender Discrimination are demanding Activision Blizzard take action to support employees in the wake of the US Supreme Court's ruling to overturn Roe vs. Wade.
"We are calling for protection of several communities of marginalized workers. Employees are actively facing state legislation that is putting women, LGBTQ+ employees, and their families at risk, with other vulnerable groups on the horizon," says A Better ABK in a Twitter thread about their demands. The walkout is set for later this month on July 21st.
The US Supreme Court last month overturned decades of precedent by reversing their stance on Roe vs. Wade. Several states immediately introduced abortion bans, meaning people living in those states now need to travel to a state without a ban in order to receive healthcare.
"The presently offered $4000 reimbursements for out of state medical care currently leave employees open to legal prosecution in their home state. Travel reimbursements do not remove workers from imminent danger," says A Better ABK.
The walkout action is in support of several specific demands, including that Activision Blizzard should cover all healthcare-related travel expenses, and should support those who wish to relocate to a state without "discriminatory legislation". They also demand that Activision Blizzard should "sign a labor-neutrality agreement," and stop actions which A Better ABK describe as "union busting." This graphic includes the demands in full:
Our walkout demands represent several actions that our company should take to protect its workers, and can be seen in this graphic (15/17) pic.twitter.com/17ZGTLofgJ— ABetterABK 💙 ABK Workers Alliance (@ABetterABK) July 6, 2022
Activision Blizzard were one of several companies to speak in support of abortion rights in the aftermath of the Supreme Court's decision, with a spokeperson telling GamesIndustry.biz that in June they had "expanded medical travel benefits to include coverage for US employees and their dependents who participate in our medical plans and live in areas where access to medical care, including reproductive health, gender-affirming treatment, transplant care, and any other medical care covered by our plans that is not available in a covered person's state, or within 100 miles of where they live."
A Better ABK have led several walkouts in the past year, including demanding the removal of CEO Bobby Kotick in wake of allegations of a culture of sexual harassment within the company. Kotick remains CEO and was re-elected to the board last month.
Microsoft are in the process of buying Activision Blizzard for $69 billion, pending approval by regulators. The UK's Competition And Markets Authority announced they were investigating the deal earlier today.