GAME Ireland Employees Denied Redundancy Pay

GAME Ireland Employees Denied Redundancy Pay

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Former employees of defunct games retailer GAME are occupying shuttered stores across the Republic of Ireland to protest a lack of redundancy pay.

After months of financial turmoil, The Game Group, the largest specialist games retailer in the United Kingdom, went into administration (read: bankrupt) earlier this week. As part of the administration deal, financial firm PriceWaterhouseCooper (PWC) was called in to restructure and attempt to salvage as much of the business as possible. One of the firm's first moves was to make redundant 2,014 GAME and Gamestation employees across 277 stores, offering each one appropriate compensation.

However, it has now come to light that such compensation is not being offered to former employees in the Republic of Ireland. No administrators for The Game Group's assets in the country have been appointed, leaving its former Irish employees in limbo.

To protest this vacuum and the lack of compensation offered to them, around 110 former employees are now staging sit-ins across eleven shuttered GAME stores in the Republic.

According to a statement released by the protestors, PWC has failed so far to offer them anything other than information relating to how their former colleagues in the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland can access compensation. The firm reportedly told them to appeal to the Irish government for assistance with compensation, but in the words of the protestors, accessing money that way could take over a year at the same time as placing an unnecessary burden on the Irish taxpayer.

"We've been told that we'll be paid for March this Friday but we're unsure that that will actually happen," said Emma Walsh, former manager of the Limerick branch of GAME, in an interview with Journal.ie. "We're hoping to hear that they'll listen to our concerns. We feel we've been treated unfairly."

The stores under occupation are still filled with GAME's stock, which the employees have been asked to pack up and prepare for removal. They're not about to do that, however. "We're not going to damage stock but we're not going to clear the shops and send it back until our claims have been met," commented Walsh.

"Everyone is in good form at the moment. We're pretty resolute and ready to fight," Walsh added.

The protestors have set up a Facebook page and Twitter account to spread the word about their situation. Various voices from the worlds of Irish politics and business, including political party Sinn Fein, have announced their support for the group.

The protestors have been told to expect word from PWC and representatives of The Game Group in the coming days. In the meantime, Twitter chatter under various hashtags relating to the protest paints a picture of former employees settling in for another night in the stores, ordering dinner and thanking onlookers for their gifts of airbeds and other kindnesses. As uncomfortable as this must be for them, having to sleep in shopping malls knowing that they've just lost their jobs, it seems that the former staff are to be commended for fighting for their rights so peacefully and with such consideration.

You can show support and keep up to date with the protestors' progress on their Facebook and Twitter pages.

Source: The Arcade (with thanks to reader Dave O'D for the tip!)

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Way to go out on the same note you've always been on, GAME.

Good for them.

I hope the Irish po-po are nicer than ours though...

Hopefully this will teach GAME that you can't hold out on declaring redundancies for the sake of trying to keep your share prices high, and then just sack people on the spot when shit inevitably hits the fan anyway.

VonKlaw:
Hopefully this will teach GAME that you can't hold out on declaring redundancies for the sake of trying to keep your share prices high, and then just sack people on the spot when shit inevitably hits the fan anyway.

Well the problem is they can, the people on top of the equssion aren't the ones dealing with this and will probably face no real repercussions, so they don't care. Unless the law changes to penalize them you'll continue seeing this kind of garbage, it's not the first time we've seen sacked employees being unable to collect benefits.

That said I have to wonder whose fault this really is, to me it seems those handling this administration have done it well except in one specific area, leading me to wonder if it has more to do with regional laws than GAME or that PWC group. I notice they are being told to contact the goverment, so that leads me to beliece that might be where the problem is because if everyone else is getting paid I doubt the guys with the money have any real issue handing it out if they are allowed to.

It sucks losing your job, and it sucks even more that they were pushed into doing something like this. I've been seeing shit like this too often lately. People being owed anywhere between 6-12 months pay, not getting severance checks, redundancy pay etc. I fully empathize.

I can only offer words of support. As certain salarian officer often said: "Hold the line"

What really surprised me was the the GAME stores over here were acting business as usual the whole time, no notices up, no closing down clearance sale or anything like that. If you hadn't been keeping up with the news on the internet you wouldn't have even known that it was closing down.

Wow. Game continue to suck even in death, who'da thunk it.

VonKlaw:
Hopefully this will teach GAME that you can't hold out on declaring redundancies for the sake of trying to keep your share prices high, and then just sack people on the spot when shit inevitably hits the fan anyway.

Ok its not up to game anymore, the company is in control of an administrator. PWC is administrator appointed for the UK based main company. The Irish subsidiary has also gone bankrupt and after paying the money it owes to the primary Irish creditors, mainly the Irish government, there isn't any money left. Governments around the world unsurprisingly pass laws stating that when companies go bankrupt they are first in line to get the tax that they are owed.

In Mother Ireland, GAME play you!
captcha: common law
Wait is captcha trying to tell the Irish something?

albino boo:

VonKlaw:
Hopefully this will teach GAME that you can't hold out on declaring redundancies for the sake of trying to keep your share prices high, and then just sack people on the spot when shit inevitably hits the fan anyway.

Ok its not up to game anymore, the company is in control of an administrator. PWC is administrator appointed for the UK based main company. The Irish subsidiary has also gone bankrupt and after paying the money it owes to the primary Irish creditors, mainly the Irish government, there isn't any money left. Governments around the world unsurprisingly pass laws stating that when companies go bankrupt they are first in line to get the tax that they are owed.

Didn't say it was up to GAME atm. I said that they deliberately stalled giving redundancies (before going into administration) when shit hit the fan to avoid the inevitable share holder panic and share value fall that would have occured by doing so. They knew that these stores were going to have to shut one way or another, but decided not to tell the staff for the sake of saving face.

VonKlaw:

albino boo:

VonKlaw:
Hopefully this will teach GAME that you can't hold out on declaring redundancies for the sake of trying to keep your share prices high, and then just sack people on the spot when shit inevitably hits the fan anyway.

Ok its not up to game anymore, the company is in control of an administrator. PWC is administrator appointed for the UK based main company. The Irish subsidiary has also gone bankrupt and after paying the money it owes to the primary Irish creditors, mainly the Irish government, there isn't any money left. Governments around the world unsurprisingly pass laws stating that when companies go bankrupt they are first in line to get the tax that they are owed.

Didn't say it was up to GAME atm. I said that they deliberately stalled giving redundancies (before going into administration) when shit hit the fan to avoid the inevitable share holder panic and share value fall that would have occured by doing so. They knew that these stores were going to have to shut one way or another, but decided not to tell the staff for the sake of saving face.

Small but rather important point they didn't have any money and havnt had any for months. They owed the taxman millions and guess what if you don't pay him first, they take you court. The by law the taxman, gets first call on any money regardless if your trading or not. The only way the could paid redundancies is by breaking the law on paying tax. They could have been wound up the tax authorities at any point in the last 6 months or so. They held off in attempt for deal to be done to allow the company to keep trading knowing that what money there is to comes to them first.

It's sad that they've had to go to such lengths, but props to these guys for sticking to their guns. Got to say, it must be quite a strange experience, camping out in your (former) place of work. I thought it was sad enough seeing all the Game branches shut here, somehow seeing the ex-employees decked out in their sleeping bags and stuff makes it seem that bit more tragic.

On a somewhat related note, in town as of today it seems, "your nearest specialist game shop is Gamestation on Union St". Of all the places to remain open (for now), it had to be there....:P

It was sad seeing the GAME in the high street in Cardiff today. Empty, devoid of anything save for one light which was lighting up a row of unboxed gaming figures that were stood in a row across the desk, as if they remained by choice.

Well that explains the 4 GAME employees playing Fifa in a closed store...

DVS BSTrD:
In Mother Ireland, GAME play you!
captcha: common law
Wait is captcha trying to tell the Irish something?

That we have, will and always shall be abused and f**cked around by the ones who make the laws be they Celtic, Norman, British or Irish?

OT: Well I for one will be doing my best to support my local game employees sit in. They were always good staff and they deserve a much better deal then what they are getting.

good look to my former GAME employee bretheren. you deserve better, we all did. I know many of us from the Manchester stores (almost all closed) are having an all day piss up on saturday and if any of you are reading this you will be more than welcome to join us.

EMFCRACKSHOT:
good look to my former GAME employee bretheren. you deserve better, we all did. I know many of us from the Manchester stores (almost all closed) are having an all day piss up on saturday and if any of you are reading this you will be more than welcome to join us.

I dunno if spending a bunch of money on alcohol and getting drunk is really a good way to move on with your live and be productive.

Grey Day for Elcia:

EMFCRACKSHOT:
good look to my former GAME employee bretheren. you deserve better, we all did. I know many of us from the Manchester stores (almost all closed) are having an all day piss up on saturday and if any of you are reading this you will be more than welcome to join us.

I dunno if spending a bunch of money on alcohol and getting drunk is really a good way to move on with your live and be productive.

no, but its certainly a good way to say goodbye

GAME doesn't care, the only way they'll pay up is if they think this will hold up any kind of acquisition. Hopefully they get their due.

albino boo:

VonKlaw:
Hopefully this will teach GAME that you can't hold out on declaring redundancies for the sake of trying to keep your share prices high, and then just sack people on the spot when shit inevitably hits the fan anyway.

Ok its not up to game anymore, the company is in control of an administrator. PWC is administrator appointed for the UK based main company. The Irish subsidiary has also gone bankrupt and after paying the money it owes to the primary Irish creditors, mainly the Irish government, there isn't any money left. Governments around the world unsurprisingly pass laws stating that when companies go bankrupt they are first in line to get the tax that they are owed.

Unless the government makes specific contracts where they don't. Normally they do, but there have been cases where it wasn't true. Remember the TARP in the US released a few years ago. The government specifically put itself later on the list, rather than first. It was kind of weird.

vxicepickxv:
Unless the government makes specific contracts where they don't. Normally they do, but there have been cases where it wasn't true. Remember the TARP in the US released a few years ago. The government specifically put itself later on the list, rather than first. It was kind of weird.

That was because they wanted the Banks to remain commercially investable. If you push down all the other tier 1 debtors down the que, they become more risk averse, less likely to invest meaning the taxpayer has bailout even more. You end up with viscous circle leading to full taxpayer ownership. By taking more of the risk on to the taxpayer in the short term by pushing itself down the list the US government enabled the banks to maintain normal funding streams. Thus reducing the overall taxpayer bailout.

Wow GAME that is really poor form.

Though I guess the executives who ran the company into the ground will be fine, who cares about all the young workers who now won't even have rundunancy pay to give them a little financial support till they get another or rather if they can get another job in this economy. /scarcasm

Good luck to the GAME workers of Ireland, hope you can get what your owned.

Hopefully they can get some support from the recently dismantled Occupy Dame Street/Central bank crowd.

I feel somewhat responsible for their downfall considering about 12 months ago I started to buy my games pretty much exclusively from Steam and Amazon, and get the odd second hand one from HMV

Tanis:
Good for them.

I hope the Irish po-po are nicer than ours though...

Considering they don't have guns or tasers they could be absolute fuckers and still be less dangerous than a mildly pissed off L.A. cop.

Yeah, I can't help but be pissed at the whole system, seems the smaller you are, the more you get screwed, and as ever, the richer you are, the more likely you are to get more money.

Firstly the loyalty cards become worthless, then kid's birthday money in the form of gift vouchers is stolen from them to hand over to shareholders and bosses, now they're screwing the very people who held the company up in its final weeks.

look at all these entitled people, demanding money from a company that's already in enough trouble as it is!

Wait, am I doing this wrong? This time we're supporting the people demanding money that they've not been offered under a contract with an entity that's gone bankrupt? Huh.

kick The Man square in the balls. repeat until The Man can no longer have children.

I know how they feel. Ive been made redundant twice. 2007 and 2010. It sucks. The worst thing for me was how you are treated with such disrespect and zero feelings. As if your just a robot and not a human being, not a person that worked for years for your store and now have to worry about bills and where your next job will be. They might as well just kick you in the balls and show you to the exit.

Anyone wanna bet the CEO of game had a golden parachute?

Good for them and hope they get what they deserve. GAME seem to be employing the screw over your loyal customers and employees well.

capitcha was moot point. Well now you say... =P

Agent Larkin:
snip

That we have, will and always shall be abused and f**cked around by the ones who make the laws be they Celtic, Norman, British or Irish?

OT: Well I for one will be doing my best to support my local game employees sit in. They were always good staff and they deserve a much better deal then what they are getting.[/quote]

If its anything like the vita cortex workers they are going to be waiting there for quite a while...

Hope they get what they want either way though.

So, wait...

I was going to write, "News Flash: Employees for Bankrupt Company Don't Get Paid." But it says in TFA that, "stores under occupation are still filled with GAME's stock, which the employees have been asked to pack up and prepare for removal."

So instead I'm going to write, "News Flash: If You Don't Pay Them, You Can't Really Call Them 'Employees' anymore." Indentured volunteers, maybe?

Wicky_42:
look at all these entitled people, demanding money from a company that's already in enough trouble as it is!

Wait, am I doing this wrong? This time we're supporting the people demanding money that they've not been offered under a contract with an entity that's gone bankrupt? Huh.

Contract shmontract, the UK actually has laws to protect the rights of workers, the same is true of Ireland; they ARE entitled to the money, and to the chap earlier whinging about the taxman; bollocks to that, redundancies are considered part of the process of winding up the business, taxes are considered part of the process following that when the business is carved up to pay off creditors.

Anyway, good on them, and if the company refuses to pay promptly, I would suggest to these good folks that the stores suffer an unfortunate and mysterious break-in resulting in the loss of all remaining stock; what a pity, what a shame.

 

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