Yesterday, a Twitter user leaked that Activision Blizzard’s executive, Brian Bulatao, emailed employees that vaccine mandates would be immediately lifted for all US employees. Today, Activision Blizzard employees and The ABK Workers Alliance, a group that formed during the sexual harassment lawsuits, are planning an employee walkout for next Monday, April 4, in protest of the lifted mandate. Now, this is not the first time Activision Blizzard employees have walked out, and probably not the last either. However, this mere planning of the walkout has already catalyzed action from Activision Blizzard executives.
LEAKED: Brian Bulatao emailed all of ABK to talk returning to office in June. They will not be enforcing proof of vaccination. I’m sure the ‘benefits’ of in person collaboration is actually so employees organizing can be followed and monitored closely. Do not die for this company pic.twitter.com/MSOwWVYBR3
— Jessica Gonzalez is a chair (@_TechJess) March 31, 2022
While the vaccine mandate being lifted is cause for concern for employee health; however, the employees plan to walk out over health concerns and broken agreements between the Activision Blizzard employees and the company. A representative for ABK Workers Alliance told Polygon, “As part of returning to office, Blizzard and Activision Blizzard held several feedback sessions and polls over the course of three months, at the end of which they decided to mandate the vaccine for workers coming into office.” However, the decision to lift the mandate “was not run by any employees before being announced.” This news comes in the midst of Activision Blizzard employees attempting to form a union, Games Workers Alliance, and Activision Blizzard being accused of union-busting.
Following the announcement of the employee walkout, Blutaro sent a second email to employees with less confidence and precision than the first. Instead of vaccine mandates being lifted “effective immediately”, now Activision Blizzard will “determine the processes and policies that work best for their employees and locations based on local conditions and risk.” Furthermore, Bloomberg reporter, Jason Schreier, tweeted, “Blizzard boss Mike Ybarra emailed staff saying they’ll continue to require vaccination for at least the next few months and that about 80% of their employees in Irvine, Austin, and Albany have uploaded proof of vaccination.”
At the same time, Blizzard boss Mike Ybarra emailed staff saying they’ll continue to require vaccination for at least the next few months and that about 80% of their employees in Irvine, Austin, and Albany have uploaded proof of vaccination
— Jason Schreier (@jasonschreier) April 1, 2022