Activision Blizzard, which decided to remove the company’s COVID-19 vaccination requirement and require all employees to return to face-to-face work, has updated this policy to allow leadership in each department to set their own policies. On Friday, the ABK Workers Alliance announced a strike planned for today over three demands made on original policies on vaccine mandates and a return to office politics.
With the initial calls for a return to office and the company-wide end of vaccination mandates made public, the workers’ group announced a strike with three claims: “An immediate reversal of the lifting of vaccinations. Remote work should be offered as a permanent solution. The decision to work remotely or in the office should be made by each individual employee.”
Later, on April 1, Chief Administrative Officer Brian Bulatao sent a follow-up email to staff with updates. In the email, he explains, “For the majority of our employees, we’re still working under a voluntary return to the office,” saying that while the company-wide vaccination mandate has expired, leadership of individual divisions at Activision, Blizzard and King is possible “determine the policies that work best for their employees and locations based on local conditions and risks.”
Bloomberg’s Jason Schreier later reported that Blizzard’s Mike Ybarra emailed employees to inform them that the company would be requiring vaccinations for at least a few more months. Other employees have also shared that other divisions of the company have reinstated their vaccine mandates.
At the same time, Blizzard CEO Mike Ybarra emailed employees that they will continue to require vaccinations for at least the next few months and that about 80% of their employees in Irvine, Austin and Albany have uploaded vaccination records
— Jason Schreier (@jasonschreier) April 1, 2022
ABK has not updated the status of its planned strike, but it is still scheduled for 10:00am PDT / 1:00pm EDT today.
While the vaccination mandate is still alive with certain Activision Blizzard King companies, Bulatao’s email seems to indicate that remote work will continue to be a potential sticking point. “We will continue to refine our plans as we near our full return date,” the email concludes.
UPDATE: ABK has revised its demands as the strike is set to continue as planned:
1. Make working from home an open and equitable option for all employees2. Undo the cancellation of the vaccination mandate for all other studios that have not already canceled it
— ABetterABK ?? ABK Workers Alliance (@ABetterABK) April 4, 2022
https://www.mmorpg.com/news/updated-activision-blizzard-vaccination-and-office-return-policies-spark-new-walkout-before-some-reversals-2000124719 UPDATED: Activision Blizzard Vaccination and Office Return Policies Trigger New Strike Before Some Setbacks