Some employees of game developer and publisher Activision Blizzard are to organise a strike today in protest at the company’s abandonment of its vaccine mandate. ABK Workers Alliance announced the walkout on Friday.
The alliance is asking Activision to rescind the waived vaccination requirement, give workers the option to work remotely, and allow employees to choose whether to work remotely or in an office. Activision said its new vaccination policy would take effect “immediately”.
Activision Blizzard Chief Administrative Officer Brian Bulatao emailed workers on Friday afternoon after news of the lifting of the vaccination mandate broke, saying the company would still let workers return. in the office on a voluntary basis. “We will continue to monitor conditions and make policy adjustments as necessary,” Bulatao said in the email, which was obtained by Protocol.
Bulatao added that while the company as a whole does not require vaccines to enter its US offices, executives at Activision Publishing, Blizzard and King can still determine which policies work best for their workers “depending on the conditions. and local risks”. “We will continue to clarify our plans as we get closer to our full return date,” Bulatao said.
It’s unclear how many people are taking part in the walkout, and ABK member Jessica Gonzalez did not respond to Protocol’s request for comment. Members are request ABK members and those in the industry to participate in the online event using the hashtags #SickOfThis and #GameWorkersUnite.
Activision employees have repeatedly resigned over company decisions in 2021. In December, employees staged a lawsuit strike alleging widespread sexual harassment and discrimination. Activision encouraged the strike, saying employees could take personal time off to participate and would face no consequences.
A handful of other companies, including Adidas and Starbucks, have also lifted COVID-19 vaccination requirements. Meta recently said it will no longer require its employees to receive their booster to return to the office, but primary vaccinations are still required.