Home Activision QA supplier Lionbridge accused of retaliatory layoffs

Activision QA supplier Lionbridge accused of retaliatory layoffs


  • The Communications Workers of America filed Unfair Labor Practice charges against Lionbridge Technologies.
  • The union alleges Lionbridge laid off a 160-person QA team in retaliation for organizing and raising work condition issues.
  • The laid-off workers were reportedly offered severance packages with unlawful confidentiality terms, violating labor laws.

On Tuesday (11 June) a labor union filed Unfair Labor Practice charges against Activision QA supplier Lionbridge Technologies.

This has been brought by the Communications Workers of America and they allege the most recent layoff of an entire 160-person team was in retaliation for “workers engaging in protected organizing activities and protected speech when raising issues regarding their working conditions.”

Lionbridge is a Microsoft supplier that has provided QA services to Activision and the Idaho-based team that was laid off provided these services. The union that has accused Lionbridge is one of the largest in America and describes itself as being diverse.

The union alleges that workers were offered a severance package that “required them to agree to overly broad confidentiality terms and to waive rights protected under the National Labor Relations Act.”

They say this practice has been ruled unlawful by the National Labor Relations Board.

The vast team was reportedly told the reason behind their termination was that the project had ended, but other teams working on the same project in Mexico and Poland are said to be continuing with work.

Lionbridge has a union-busting track record

In 2016, Lionbridge laid off all the members of a union in Bellevue, Washington, shortly after they finalized a collectively bargained contract with the company.

The union, self-described as ‘start-up union,’ represented Tier 1 workers in the Windows app testing program at the technology company. In total, 16 union workers and five non-union personnel were laid off.

In the most recent contract terminations, the team was providing quality assurance services to Microsoft subsidiary Activision. In 2022, Microsoft adopted principles for engagement with worker organizations, which recognized workers’ legal rights to organize and expressed a belief in “the importance of listening to our employees’ concerns.”

The Communications Workers of America say they expect Microsoft to hold its contractors to the same standards the company has set for itself.

Featured Image: Via CWA Facebook

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Sophie Atkinson
Tech Journalist

Sophie Atkinson is a UK-based journalist and content writer, as well as a founder of a content agency which focuses on storytelling through social media marketing. She kicked off her career with a Print Futures Award which champions young talent working in print, paper and publishing. Heading straight into a regional newsroom, after graduating with a BA (Hons) degree in Journalism, Sophie started by working for Reach PLC. Now, with five years experience in journalism and many more in content marketing, Sophie works as a freelance writer and marketer. Her areas of specialty span a wide range, including technology, business,…

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