A Court has issued an injunction against €2 Billion gaming company NetEnt, at the request of the General Workers’ Union, Malta’s largest trade union, preventing it from implementing mass redundancies.
The General Workers’ Union (GWU), representing the majority of NetEnt employees in Malta, had earlier filed an application before Malta’s Superior Courts, requesting an injunction to prevent the company from implementing any form of redundancy or from terminating any employment.
The union complained that NetEnt had failed to notify and consult it in terms of European and local law protecting employment in a collective redundancy scenario. It also charged the company and its new owner Evolution Gaming with a wholesale breach of EU transfer of undertakings rules.
The GWU decried NetEnt and Evolution Gaming’s anti-union tactics, which it contends are intended to prevent an effective consultation of employees at a critical moment when they are facing potential redundancy days before Christmas. In its application to the Court, the union argued that the company had negotiated a termination package with an “employee representative” who was dismissive of the employees’ pleas, and who was appointed by the company itself in breach of regulations governing information and consultation obligations. On the other hand, the company refused to consult with the GWU, which now represents the majority of local NetEnt employees.
A GWU representative stated that “thanks to the Court’s intervention following our urgent request, 324 illegal dismissals have now been put on hold. We will continue to insist that NetEnt and Evolution Gaming honour their consultation obligations in full, and we will do our utmost to ensure that jobs are saved, and, where that is not possible, that appropriate compensation is paid.”
The news of NetEnt’s acquisition and mass redundancies plan was communicated to its Malta employees just last week, and most employees have expressed shock and disappointment at being escorted out of their place of work that same day by the new owners.
The Court will hear the parties’ arguments at a specially appointed sitting to be held on the 17th December.