US labor board prosecutors determined that Activision Blizzard Inc. illegally threatened staff and enforced a social media policy that conflicts with workers’ rights, according to a government spokesperson. The finding is a setback for the company as it tries to fend off a unionization effort and finalize a $68.7 billion sale to Microsoft Corp.
Unless Activision settles, the Los Angeles-based regional director of the National Labor Relations Board will issue a complaint, the agency’s press secretary Kayla Blado said Monday. Activision did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The labor board is slated to count ballots on Monday from an election held among around 21 employees at Activision’s Raven studio in Wisconsin, which could establish a rare foothold for organized labor in the video game industry.
The allegations in the labor board case were brought to the agency last September by the Communications Workers of America, the same union organizing at Raven. CWA, which has increasingly focused in recent years on organizing non-union workers in the tech and video game industries, said in an emailed statement at the time that it was “very inspired by the bravery” of Activision employees and that it filed with the agency to ensure that violations by the company “will not go unanswered.”