After employees threatened to leave, Activision-Blizzard is reversing its plans for mandatory vaccinations.
The company said in a statement that it had been exploring “new ways” of handling the requirements without requiring workers to receive them before coming into work.
This marks yet another victory for anti-vaxxers and those who believe vaccines can cause harm. Experts are already warning employers they need to tread carefully when deciding whether or not to require their workers be vaccinated..
Activision-Blizzard reversed their decision to lift in-office vaccine requirements after employees threatened a walkout. The company said that they will not be able to continue business as usual if the new policy was implemented. Read more in detail here: activision employee treatment.
Activision-Blizzard continues to be put on notice by the proto-union A Better ABK and the workers of the studio. The latest incident revolves around a leaked email from COO Brian Bulatao that announced plans to bring employees back into the US offices and drop COVID vaccination requirements for workers. “I’m sure the ‘benefits’ of in person collaboration is actually so employees organizing can be followed and monitored closely,” Activision-Blizzard dev and ABABK rep Jessica Gonzalez warned when sharing the email. “Do not die for this company.”
A day later, ABABK itself released a statement about the policy change, threatening another employee walkout on Monday, April 4th, unless there was an immediate reversal of the mandate lift along with the option to let employees continue to work from home.
Shortly after that statement, senior UI engineer Valentine Powell shared an update that Bulatao is now allowing individual studios to decide whether to continue to enforce a vaccination requirement for in-office work; as of this writing, Blizzard’s main office and QA offices in Texas, Minnesota, and Louisiana have reinstated the vaccine mandate.
“This conversation has illustrated why it is so crucial for workers to have the choice to WFH permanently if decisions about our health can be so casually decided without our input at a moment’s notice,” wrote Powell. It does appear a walkout is still happening Monday anyway in support of better work-from-home policies.
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
Brian Bulatao has agreed to let each studio determine their own vaccination mandate criteria, according to the latest news. So far, I’ve heard that Blizzard, QAMN, QALA, and QATX have all resumed vaccination requirements. I’m hoping to hear that all of my ABK colleagues will be protected in the same way.
— Valentine Powell 💙🏳️🌈🏳️⚧️ (@valentine_irl) April 1, 2022
Activision-Blizzard has reversed their decision to lift the in-office vaccine requirement after employees threatened a walkout. Reference: activision law.
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