Some employees at the game developer and publisher Activision Blizzard are organizing a walkout today to protest the company dropping its vaccine mandate. ABK Workers Alliance announced the walkout on Friday.
The alliance is asking Activision to reverse the lifted vaccine requirement, give workers the option for remote work and allow employees to decide 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 lifted vaccine mandate went public, saying the company will still let workers return to the office on a voluntary basis. “We will continue to monitor conditions and make adjustments to the policy as needed,” 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 U.S. offices, leaders of Activision Publishing, Blizzard and King can still determine what policies work best for their workers “based on local conditions and risk.” “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 participating in the walkout, and ABK group member Jessica Gonzalez did not respond to Protocol’s request for comment. Members are asking members of ABK and those in the industry to participate in the event online by using the hashtags #SickOfThis and #GameWorkersUnite.
Activision workers walked out over company decisions several times in 2021. In December, employees staged a walkout over lawsuits alleging widespread sexual harassment and discrimination. Activision encouraged the strike, saying employees could take personal time off for participating and wouldn’t face any consequences.A handful of other companies, including Adidas and Starbucks, have also lifted requirements to be vaccinated against COVID-19. Meta recently said it would no longer require its workers to receive their booster shot to head back to the office, but primary vaccinations are still required.