Tag Archives: employees

Blizzard Employees Staged a Walkout to Protest Ban of Pro-Hong Kong Gamer

Blizzard Employees Staged a Walkout to Protest Ban of Pro-Hong Kong GamerSOPA Images/GettyA small group of Activision Blizzard employees walked out of work Tuesday afternoon to protest the company’s actions against a gamer who expressed support for pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong during an official livestream.The game publisher behind online multiplayer hits like World of Warcraft and Overwatch banned Hong Kong-based professional Hearthstone player Chung Ng Wai from thegame’s lucrative pro league for a year on Tuesday. Chung, who uses the handle “Blitzchung,” prompted the ban after saying “Liberate Hong Kong, revolution of our times” during an interview about his tournament wins. Blizzard’s actions forced him to forfeit $ 10,000 in prize money he had already won.“The action Blizzard took against the player was pretty appalling but not surprising,” a longtime Blizzard employee told The Daily Beast. “Blizzard makes a lot of money in China, but now the company is in this awkward position where we can’t abide by our values.”“I’m disappointed,” another current Blizzard employee said. “We want people all over the world to play our games, but no action like this can be made with political neutrality.” The employees spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of professional consequences.Protesting Blizzard employees from multiple departments gathered at an iconic statue of an Orc warrior charging into battle in the center of the company’s main campus in Irvine, California, starting around 10 a.m. Pacific Time. The demonstration’s numbers fluctuated throughout the day, the two employees said, ranging from a dozen to 30, and the protesters departed sometime in the late afternoon. The protesters would have been visible to executive offices, which overlook the main plaza, the two employees said. The company did not immediately respond to a request for comment.The Chinese tech giant Tencent owns a 5 percent stake in Blizzard, and the gaming company earned 12 percent of its revenue from the Asia-Pacific region last quarter, according to its earnings reports.The decision prompted backlash from gamers and non-gamers alike, adding fuel to the fire begun by the National Basketball Association’s own controversy over China and the Hong Kong protests.A person claiming to be a Blizzard employee and using the handle “Standingwhk” posted a picture to Reddit and Imgur that showed roughly 20 employees involved in the demonstration. Several employees held umbrellas, a visual symbol adopted by protesters in Hong Kong. Two current Blizzard employees authenticated the photo to The Daily Beast. Blizzard has placed plaques with its core company values along a circular compass around the orc. According to the two employees and photos, protesters had papered over one that read, “Every voice matters.”The protesters also solicited signatures for a petition expressing displeasure with Blizzard leadership’s handling of the matter that they planned to submit to executives, the two employees said. Discussion about Blizzard’s actions and of the protest, they said, continued Wednesday. The two employees said Blizzard executives have not taken any public action against the protesters. Blizzard’s actions inspired a negative reaction among lawmakers, who denounced the gaming giant. On Twitter, Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) said the company was willing to “humiliate itself” to please China. And Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) declared, “Implications of this will be felt long after everyone in U.S. politics today is gone.”One of the employees who spoke to The Daily Beast felt that the protest signaled a new era for Blizzard. The company has been complying with government censorship requests within its games in order to keep doing business in one of its biggest markets, he said.“Doing business in China, it’s been easier to ignore the authoritarianism of the government because they were asking us to do things like remove a skeleton [from a game],” he said. “The stakes are so much higher now. What was previously an obvious decision is much less obvious now.” Read more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.



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This brewery in Maine gifts its employees with a free trip to Belgium on their 5 year work anniversary

This brewery in Maine gifts its employees with a free trip to Belgium on their 5 year work anniversaryAllagash Brewing Company was voted Best Place to Work in Maine for 7 years running according to Outside Magazine — and has the best work perks.



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Trump news: President says Bahamas full of 'bad gang members', as official threatens to fire NOAA employees over Hurricane Dorian claims

Trump news: President says Bahamas full of 'bad gang members', as official threatens to fire NOAA employees over Hurricane Dorian claimsDonald Trump is campaigning in North Carolina on Monday in support of Republican Mark Harris, who faces a strong challenge in a special election in a district that the president carried overwhelmingly in 2016.During an impromptu press conference before boarding his plane to that state, Mr Trump shocked reports by telling them that he is hesitant to allow Bahamians to enter the US after Hurricane Dorian because the island is full of "bad gang members". Also during that press conference, the president repeatedly said that Barack Obama had given him a present by leaving judicial vacancies, and repeatedly insisted that pundits had misanalysed the 2018 election results — in which Republicans lost control of the House — because his party had retained control of the Senate in an election year that favoured the GOP.



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Brazen gun-toting thieves tie up employees, rob New York City jewelry store in broad daylight

Brazen gun-toting thieves tie up employees, rob New York City jewelry store in broad daylightThieves steal an estimated $ 4 million worth of jewelry during NYC heist that was caught on surveillance video; David Lee Miller reports.



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Trump's acting immigration chief introduced legislation as a state senator that would have allowed companies to fire employees who didn't speak English

Trump's acting immigration chief introduced legislation as a state senator that would have allowed companies to fire employees who didn't speak EnglishHe's now Trump's acting immigration chief, but Ken Cuccinelli has a long history as an anti-immigration hardliner.



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Google employees call for pledge not to work with ICE

Google employees call for pledge not to work with ICEHundreds of Google employees are calling on the company to pledge it won’t work with U.S. Customs and Border Protection or Immigration and Customs Enforcement. A group of employees called Googlers for Human Rights posted a public petition urging the company not to bid on a cloud computing contract for CBP, the federal agency that oversees law enforcement for the country’s borders. It is not clear if Google expressed interest.



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Bernie Sanders Employees Demand $15 Hourly. 1 Strategist Calls That ‘Ridiculous’.

Bernie Sanders Employees Demand $  15 Hourly. 1 Strategist Calls That ‘Ridiculous’.Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders’s campaign staffers are demanding wages of at least $ 15 hourly, but a campaign strategist is calling that prospect “ridiculous,” saying productivity would have to be cut to stay within budget.After facing criticism earlier in July, the Vermont senator defended how he compensates his staff.“I’m very proud to be the first presidential candidate to recognize a union and negotiate a union contract,” he told the Des Moines Register on Friday. “And that contract was ratified by the employees of the campaign, and it not only provides pay of at least $ 15 an hour, it also provides, I think, the best health care benefits that any employer can provide for our field organizers.”Sanders’s campaign manager Faiz Shakir said as negotiations continue, the campaign would be “limiting hours,” he told Newsweek.“We look forward to continuing those discussions and obviously are disappointed that some individuals decided to damage the integrity of these efforts before they were concluded,” he said. “As these discussions continue, we are limiting hours so no employee is receiving less than $ 15 for any hours worked.”Republican strategist and campaign manager Joe Desilets told the Daily Caller News Foundation that less than $ 15 hourly is relatively well-paid for certain positions.He said $ 13 hourly is “probably on the high end of standard.”



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Employees on Jeffrey Epstein's private island compound say they had to stay out of sight of the financier and were never allowed in his office

Employees on Jeffrey Epstein's private island compound say they had to stay out of sight of the financier and were never allowed in his officeJeffrey Epstein, who was charged with sex trafficking on Monday, bought Little St. James Island off of St. Thomas more than two decades ago.



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UPDATE 2-PG&E get approval to pay employees $350 mln to meet safety goals after wildfires

UPDATE 2-PG&E get approval to pay employees $  350 mln to meet safety goals after wildfiresPG&E Corp can pay employees up to $ 350 million in bonuses this year to spur them to help meet the bankrupt California power provider’s safety goals to prevent wildfires, a judge said on Tuesday. PG&E’s management has said the company needs to implement the bonus plan to carry out tasks such as clearing trees and branches around power lines to avert contact that triggers wildfires. While the maximum cost of the plan is $ 350 million, PG&E has said it expects the likely cost will be around $ 235 million.



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Amazon employees listen to customers through Echo products, report finds

Amazon employees listen to customers through Echo products, report findsEmployees listen to Echo recordings, transcribe and annotate them and feed them back to the software so that Alexa can better grasp human speech.



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