The General Workers’ Union announced on Sunday that it is declaring an industrial dispute with NetEnt and Evolution over employee redundancies.
General Workers’ Union to Take Industrial Action with NetEnt and Evolution
The General Workers’ Union (GWU) has declared an industrial dispute with NetEnt and Evolution Gaming Group, which finalized the merger of their operations last week, leading to redundancies, affecting 300 people and multiple offices owned by NetEnt.
The GWU has argued that the companies have breached the law on collective redundancies when NetEnt and Evolution failed to acknowledge the union as an employee representative as part of the Collective Redundancies Regulations also referred to as Protection of Employment.
According to an official statement by the union, the companies have refused to provide specific reasons behind the redundancies or the number of employees being let-go, the selection criteria for making an employee redundant or details about redundancy payments, or how fast redundancies are going to be affected.
Last week, we reported citing industry sources that over 300 people will be laid off, as a result of shuttering NetEnt’s Live Studio operations. The move affects employees in NetEnt’s offices in Malta and Poland, with the number of redundancies possibly going to 500 according to other sources.
No effort has been made to avoid these developments, argued the union, and said it would reserve its right to take industry action against the companies, the GWU stated in a press release on Sunday.
Evolution Restructuring as Redundancies Become Necessary
Part of the reason why these changes are needed, it seems, is the fact that Evolution doesn’t need NetEnt’s Live Studio as it will rely solely on its bespoke product instead, with most jobs that are being made redundant relating directly to this vertical. Speaking to Times of Malta last week, a representative for Evolution said that “people who worked directly with the product were at risk.”
This comes at a time when NetEnt has been pulling in considerable effort into its Live Studio, expanding with several blackjack tables to meet demand. As soon as the acquisition rolled in on Tuesday, though, NetEnt Live stopped, causing outage across the product portfolio for all partners.
Redundancies come at a particularly good time for Evolution and the company’s Q3 beating all estimates and the world’s premier developer of live casino software on a clear path to achieving even better results.
For the part of employees, the majority of people have been caught by surprise and shocked. Speaking to Times of Malta, NetEnt employees said that they were escorted by security “as representatives from the company’s new owner drank champagne and ate pizza.”
Nothing Pointed to Redundancies, Say NetEnt Representatives
A normal day at work took a completely unprecedented turn, said a former NetEnt employee interviewed by The Times of Malta. “Up until Monday, the company was still investing in the studio and its staff,” the unnamed individual said.
On Tuesday, though, events took a completely different direction with security arriving to inform staff that they must vacate their work stations, collect any personal belongings and leave, said the person.
No one told the employees that NetEnt Live was shutting down for good, The Times of Malta wrote citing its anonymous source. Evolution claimed that representatives were available all throughout the day.
Another employee who had arrived from abroad to work at NetEnt in Malta said that most employees were ready to go to the GWU and seek a way out of a difficult situation.
Evolution said that people were escorted civilly and that the company remained available to answer questions regarding the process, and addressing their concerns.
The story of NetEnt’s employee quickly spread around LinkedIn, a professional social network, rallying executives from across the spectrum, with representatives from Trustly, Authentic Gaming, LeoVegas, Betway, and Kindred, to name a few, taking an active role in helping NetEnt employees find another job.
Andrew Visser, an iGaming consultant, had this to say: “There are jobs out there and I’m sure everyone will find something new. But the road can be long, difficult and at times it will seem never-ending.” The good news is that help is underway.