Malta Workers Union GWU Enters Dispute with NetEnt--Evolution Merger over Widespread LayoffsPublished December 9, 2020 by Lee R
NetEnt and Evolution formed a historic merger, which left many jobs lost in its wake.
The General Workers Union Malta GWU has formally entered into an Industrial Dispute with NetEnt and Evolution Gaming Group, with longer term ramifications for employment protocols among iGaming operators.
Failure to Consult with Union?
The complaint is over NetEnt and Evolution Gaming Group's respective failure to acknowledge GWU as employee representative for the purpose of collective redundancies under the Collective Redundancies (Protection of Employment) Regulations.
The problem arose from Evolution Gaming's acquisition of NetEnt that left hundreds jobless.
The GWU union contends that each company failed to consult them prior to the redundancies, a.k.a. downsizing.
Basis for Procedural Complaints
As indicated by GWU, the companies violated procedure by failing to provide the GWU union with a written statement detailing information relevant to the redundancies; the reasons for the redundancies; the number of employees to be made redundant; the criteria for the selection of employees to be made redundant, and details regarding specific redundancy payments:
“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.”
Support for Laid Off
Aid for workers laid off in the restructuring of Evolution Gaming is being offered by the Economy Ministry in the form of a Josplus job matchmaking service for those who lost their jobs which includes a dedicated helpline.
In the interim, the Union has reserved the right to take industrial action in furtherance of the trade dispute.
GWU asserts the measures are necessary as a direct result of both NetEnt and Evolution's lack of willingness to consult the union as the employee representative, and to avoid mass redundancies in the iGaming sector.
With the Malta jurisdiction providing an early hotbed for iGaming, the implications of this dispute would indicate that if iGaming companies plan layoffs after increasingly common merger activity in the industry, they will have to take into consideration protections for those they lay off, and familiarize themselves with local union representatives and organisations.
Further, an increase in iGaming union activity can invariably proliferate industry-wide, when technology and automation remains continuously capable of rendering the tasks of large swathes of workers obsolete in the blink of an eye.