After NetEnt And Evolution Layoffs Malta Union Threatens Industrial Action

An industrial dispute with NetEnt and Evolution was announced by the General Workers’ Union for Malta, alleging the companies refused to accept the country’s largest trade union as an employee leader for expected layoffs.

The union added that it had “reserved the right to take industrial action” relating to the issue.

It said: “The GWU advises that these measures have become necessary given the gaming companies’ declared and manifest unwillingness to consult it, as the employees’ representative, in order to avoid mass redundancies in the igaming sector.

“The companies are reportedly planning to lay off over 300 employees, with no effort being made to avoid redundancies, and by engaging in anti-union tactics.”

In the aftermath of its SEK19.60bn (£1.72bn/€1.91bn/$2.30bn) contract for the slot specialist, the conflict follows Evolution’s start of the mechanism to implement NetEnt. This will see EUR 30 million of cost-cutting steps at the slot developer, including layoffs.

Such dismissals, the union says, were not dealt with in compliance with regulations.

The union said that NetEnt and Evolution had two big grievances. Second, that it was not accepted as an official employee representative by the suppliers. This was in breach of the Collective Redundancies (Employment Protection) Regulations of Malta, it said, noting  “the employer proposing to declare the collective redundancy has the duty to notify in writing the employees’ representatives”.

Second, NetEnt and Evolution did not provide specifics of the redundancies in writing, the union said. Under the legislation, employers are expected to provide information to members about the cause for redundancies, the number anticipated, the date on which the selection criteria and redundancy pay details will occur.

The Regulations state that for any employee who is found redundant, employers in breach are liable for a fine of not less than EUR 1,164.69.

The Union added that NetEnt and Evolution also violated the Regulations on Transfer of Business (Employment Protection) relating to merger-related layoffs, but did not specify the clauses were violated.

NetEnt reported last week that it would de-list its B-shares from the Stockholm Nasdaq exchange on 16 December following the merger.