Videogame publisher Activation has illegally threatened workers, the U.S. agency said

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WASHINGTON – Videogame publisher Activision Blizzard Inc. has implemented a social media policy that conflicts with workers’ rights and illegally threatens workers in enforcing the policy, a U.S. government agency said Monday.

If the activation is not settled, the Los Angeles-based regional director of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) will file a complaint, a NLRB spokesman said in a statement.

The NLRB was investigating allegations made last September by the American Workers Union Communication Workers.

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In Wisconsin on Monday, NLRB will count the votes of a small group of Activision Blizzard workers, a qualitative assurance that they want to join the union in an effort to improve their work environment.

The union has in recent years focused increasingly on organizing non-union workers in the technology and video game industries.

The “Call of Duty” video game maker said Monday that the allegations were false.

“These allegations are false. Employees can and do talk freely about these workplace issues without retaliation, and our social media policy explicitly includes workers’ NLRA rights, “said a company spokesman.

“Our social media policy explicitly states that it does not restrict employees ‘access to information protected by law, for example, workers’ rights in the United States protected by national labor relations law,” the spokesman said.

In recent months, Activism Blizzard workers have come together to try to influence the company’s future, including a walkout and a petition calling for the removal of CEO Bobby Kotik. Microsoft Corp. announced plans to acquire Activation in January.

(Reporting by Kanishka Singh in Washington; Editing by Lisa Schumacher)

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