Malta Union Threatens NetEnt with Industrial Action
The General Workers’ Union for Malta has heavily criticised NetEnt and Evolution following the news that integration of the two companies will come at the cost more than 300 jobs.
Evolution bid SEK19.60bn (£1.72bn/€1.91bn/$2.30bn) to acquire NetEnt in June and as the deal moves forward the Stockholm-listed live casino developer is looking to find €30m of cost-cutting measures.
The union said it “reserved the right to take industrial action”, claiming that neither entity had done anything to avoid the redundancies and had failed to recognise or consult the union.
“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,” it added.
Positioning itself as the official union of employees at both companies, the union said that failure to consult it as a representative of the firms’ employees is in violation of Malta’s Collective Redundancies (Protection of Employment) Regulations.
The union also claimed that, under the regulations, NetEnt and Evolution were obliged to provide the employee representative detail of the redundancies in writing. This should include the reason for the proposed job losses, how many are planned, the date they will occur, and the criteria for selection and proposed redundancy pay.
Instead, the union accused the pair of “engaging in anti-union tactics.” Employers that fail to observe the regulations can be fined €1,164.69 for every employee made redundant.
The Union also claimed that the two igaming companies were in violation of the Transfer of Business (Protection of Employment) Regulations but gave no details on how they had breached those rules, describing it broadly as a “wholesale breach”.
The acquisition is part of a self-proclaimed plan by Evolution to become “the world leader in the online gaming industry”.
The deal was investigated by the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority in September following concerns that it had the potential to create a “substantial lessening of competition” in the market.
Earlier this month NetEnt announced it would be delisting its B-shares from the Nasdaq Stockholm exchange on 16 December, as a result of the deal which was finally inked on 23 November.