Maltese injunction puts NetEnt AB job losses on hold

In Malta and online casino software developer NetEnt AB has reportedly been hit with an injunction that has temporarily prevented it from instituting over 300 redundancies as part of its recent acquisition by Evolution Gaming Group AB.

According to a Friday report from the Malta Today newspaper, the Superior Court decision came following an application from the General Workers’ Union (GWU) that alleged the firm was about to break European and local laws because it had not informed or consulted with trade unions regarding the proposed mass layoff.

Consolidation consequences:

NetEnt AB is responsible for a live casino studio in the Maltese community of Qormi and revealed in June that it was being bought by Evolution Gaming Group AB as part of an around $2.12 billion all-share deal. The firm had reportedly intended to dismiss 324 employees as its new owner is already responsible for nine such live-dealer facilities including one in the nearby Valletta suburb of Birkirkara.

Arguable approach:

However, the GWU filed a lawsuit on December 5 amid claims that NetEnt AB was engaging in ‘anti-union tactics’ by keeping it in the dark regarding the redundancies and negotiating a termination package via an employee representative appointed by the developer itself. The union furthermore contended that this agent had been dismissive of its own pleas and that their selection had breached a range of legal information and consultation obligations.

Reportedly read a statement from the GWU…

“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 AB and Evolution Gaming Group AB honor 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.”

Subsequent step:

The newspaper reported and the government of Malta is assisting those now at risk of losing their jobs via the establishment of a special telephone helpline while both parties are due to give oral arguments via a specially-appointed Superior Court sitting beginning from Thursday.

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