Activision Blizzard temporary workers get better pay and PTO

Daniel Sims

Posts: 668   +27
Staff
Why it matters: Workers at Activision Blizzard this week announced some wins from the ongoing controversy surrounding the company and its treatment of employees. It comes after the CEO of Activision took a massive pay cut and promised changes late last month.

On Wednesday, Blizzard Senior Test Analyst Jessica Gonzalez, a member of the Activision Blizzard King Workers Alliance (ABK), tweeted a list of changes temporary contract workers at Activision Blizzard would begin receiving. Gonzalez calls it a huge victory but admits ABK's work isn't finished.

The company increased the minimum salary for contractors to $17 per hour. They'll get paid time off during Thanksgiving and winter break. Starting in 2022, they'll get 13 paid holidays per year, with the number of sick days increased to nine to match that given to Blizzard employees. There will also be new career growth and learning programs.

Last week ABK's official Twitter account reported that Blizzard was forcing contractors to take unpaid leave during the holidays, making this week's announcement a significant turnaround. ABK also put out a general call on Twitter for people to share their work experiences, and many contractors have since replied. Last week Gonzalez mentioned having to sleep under her desk and rely on welfare for medical insurance.

ABK comprises employees from Activision, Blizzard, and King (King isn't mentioned as much as Activision and Blizzard but is part of the same family) and started after the employee walkout that happened over the summer. The protest was a reaction to Activision Blizzard's initial response to a sexual harassment and employment discrimination lawsuit from the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing.

The lawsuit accused the company of allowing a "frat house" culture where female employees were subject to sexual harassment and pay discrimination. Later, Activision Blizzard was accused of intimidating employees and holding up the investigation process. It also faced an investigation from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which it settled for $18 million, as well as an investigation from the Securities and Exchange Commission. Around 20 employees have left the company, including a former president, chief legal officer, and multiple game designers.

At the end of October, Activision CEO Bobby Kotick cut his own annual pay all the way down to $62,500 and published an open letter listing commitments he was making to change the company. They include a zero-tolerance harassment policy and hiring more women and gender-nonbinary people at Activision Blizzard.

Image credit: Raimond Spekking

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Rayneofpayne

Posts: 502   +415
$17 Wow perhaps this is why the company and their games suck anymore, no actual professionals left, I remember of hearing first hand the customer service poverty the workers went through first hand from friends that worked there when Blizzard was at their height of WOW subs and thought to myself what a piece of **** company.
 

Bl00dyMinded

Posts: 504   +779
Yeah still wouldn't support Blizzard anymore. Also aren't they located in Cali? If so, cost of living there is insane for $17 an hour. Cause you know COD doesn't sell so many copies at all.
 

Neatfeatguy

Posts: 1,019   +1,866
13 paid holidays? What is this, a state job?

$17 Wow perhaps this is why the company and their games suck anymore, no actual professionals left, I remember of hearing first hand the customer service poverty the workers went through first hand from friends that worked there when Blizzard was at their height of WOW subs and thought to myself what a piece of **** company.

You did read the story, yes?

They're talking about temps. Folks that tend to come into the business as basic help and not being full time. Sometimes temps pan out and get a full time offer, sometimes they just help for a day or a few months and then move on to their next contract or job placement.

I'd like to think they'd pay full time employees a bit more.

The place I work, the temps get paid a few bucks under a full time employee in the same position. The company isn't a game making business so comparing pay from the place I work to Blizzard/Activision isn't the same. However, the idea should be the same - temps get paid less than full time employees and tend to get zero to very little benefits (such as paid PTO/Holidays).
 

Soulburn74

Posts: 125   +67
In the IT space its common for contractors to make a little bit more in actual pay than FTE's, as they aren't getting benefits (medical etc). Its always been a bullshit argument, that I call them on when getting converted from contractor to FTE (done it a few times)......sometimes winning, sometimes loosing....... its all in the art of negotiating (until they actually say no, they WILL say yes.....so stand your ground for what you want to get paid).
 

Yenega

Posts: 302   +206
How many are left form the original team at this point?? So many IPs with so much potential
 

Rayneofpayne

Posts: 502   +415
13 paid holidays? What is this, a state job?



You did read the story, yes?

They're talking about temps. Folks that tend to come into the business as basic help and not being full time. Sometimes temps pan out and get a full time offer, sometimes they just help for a day or a few months and then move on to their next contract or job placement.

I'd like to think they'd pay full time employees a bit more.

The place I work, the temps get paid a few bucks under a full time employee in the same position. The company isn't a game making business so comparing pay from the place I work to Blizzard/Activision isn't the same. However, the idea should be the same - temps get paid less than full time employees and tend to get zero to very little benefits (such as paid PTO/Holidays).
Yes I read the story the point is a morally bankrupt company has no legs to stand on and as expected is wretched probably throughout it's employment practices. Nope first hand accounts from employees at working at Blizzard have told me it's screwed up, the only reason people put up with it is the prestige the company had.