ABetterABK have argued that there are more than a few reasons why a mandatory return to office is a bad idea.
WoW Wednesday: Further Tensions Arise Between ABetterABK and Blizzard
Just as the Blizzard dramas are seeming to subside, the company comes out swinging. Because it has now decided to issue a mandatory return-to-work order to all of its employees. Which doesn't necessarily sound controversial on its own. But it has prompted the "proto-union" ABK Workers Alliance to point out the myriad issues with the decision. Or, at least, the way in which it has been implemented.
A Twitter thread posted by ABetterABK/ABK Workers Alliance recently laid out how the interaction between Blizzard and its employees went down. Specifically, that all Blizzard employees would be required to return to the office in July 2023. No exceptions.
Though Blizzard has reportedly encouraged those who can't, for whatever reason, to get in touch with the accommodations team, ABetterABK reports that many requests have been summarily denied.
While this has inevitably re-sparked the debate surrounding the benefits and drawbacks of working from home compared to working from an office, ABetterABK pointed out that there's a little more at stake than just workspace preferences.
For instance, according to ABetterABK there are many new employees at Blizzard that were hired during a period when working remotely was necessary and/or permitted, and who were based in places miles away from any physical Blizzard office. This new mandate, therefore, is likely to force these employees to quit as they cannot feasibly get to an office on a regular basis. Something ABetterABK are calling "a quiet layoff."
ABetterABK also theorize that union organizers and supporters are in Blizzard's crosshairs. "Many involved in the push for unionization belong to marginalized communities, such as LGBTQ+, women, racial minorities, disabled and chronically ill." They stated, "A return to office for these folks could mean harassment or even illness that could result in death or further disability."
To add fuel to this fire, ABetterABK also reported that many have been fired on-the-spot for responding to the mandate with "colorful language." ABetterABK has now filed an Unfair Labor Practice report in response, believing that immediate termination is a "gross misuse of power."
Whatever the outcome, it's clear that ABK Workers Alliance have their work cut out in the immediate future.