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Activision Blizzard Executive Threatens To Withhold Raises, Union Files Unfair Labor Practice Complaint

The union representing numerous current employees at Activision Blizzard known as the Communications Workers of America recently filed an unfair labor practice complaint against the company in the wake of Chief Communications Officer Lulu Cheng Meservey sending messages over Slack to the effect that unionization is an overly time consuming process in addition to claims that raises could be withheld until a unionization deal is reached. Both have widely been interpreted as union busting.

Cheng Meservey is a new hire at Activision Blizzard, having only been at the company for less than a month. The executive has largely taken over the responsibilities of another controversial figure, Chief Compliance Officer Frances Townsend, who became notorious for denying the many claims of there being a “pervasive frat boy workplace culture” at Activision Blizzard, calling the reports “a distorted and untrue picture of our company including factually inaccurate, old, and out of context stories.” Townsend resigned from her position at Activision Blizzard earlier this month in view of the pending sale to Microsoft.

The news comes from a reporter at the Washington Post by the name of Shannon Liao. The journalist quickly took to Twitter, noting how “the Communications Workers of America just filed an unfair labor practice complaint against Activision Blizzard over the company's Chief Communications Officer Lulu Cheng Meservey sending Slack messages that said unionization was time-consuming and raises could be withheld until a deal.”

This apparently is not the first time that executives at Activision Blizzard have threatened to withhold raises from workers even despite the practice being in direct contravention of the relevant regulations. Activision Blizzard was found earlier this month to have withheld raises from employees in the Quality Assurance department at Raven Software by the National Labor Relations Board. These testers appear to have been denied a raise because Activision Blizzard "could not institute new pay initiatives at Raven Software" on account of the pending union vote, at least according to the company.

Activision Blizzard has been the subject of intense scrutiny ever since the reports about workplace abuse and misconduct were made last year. The company came under even further scrutiny after announcing the upcoming merger with Microsoft, a move which attracted the attention of antitrust regulators.

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