Live gaming provider Evolution Gaming reportedly has hired 150 staff to cope with an undisclosed number of workers who went on strike at its Georgian studio. The strike began on 30 July, when disgruntled employees demanded a wage increase and improved working conditions.
The initial action was followed a day later with the announcement of the forming of a union by the striking workers. They also formally requested mediation. According to reports, the provider said it is happy to dialogue with the unhappy employees. However, it also insisted that the strike action be conducted in line with the law of the Republic of Georgia.
Despite the conciliatory tone adopted by the provider in a media statement, it reportedly dismissed several employees the day after workers announced the formation of a union. Striking workers claim the dismissals were illegal.
One of the dismissed staff members who spoke to the media, Korneli Katsarava, said the provider based the dismissals on previous disciplinary matters. He further alleged that the provider threatened to fire any other workers who joined the strike. Katsarava also said that as many as 400 of the provider’s local staff could join the legal strike 12 days after the mediation request was submitted.
According to Giorgi Diasamidze, head of the Trade, Agrarian, and Industry Union, Evolution Gaming’s striking workers want a 50% wage increase. Reports indicate that the current monthly salary earned at its Tbilisi studio is GEL1000, while ‘shufflers’ earn a meagre GEL400 (US$137) per month.
Diasamidze said the strikers also demanded that all employees that were dismissed because of their involvement in the strike be reinstated. The union head added that a mediator had been appointed, and that they had already made contact with the striking workers and with the provider.
Founded in 2006, Evolution Gaming has enjoyed a growth spurt recently. It now has 10 studios in Europe and North America, and it saw more than 2000 employees added to its payroll in just one year.
This year’s Q2 revenue increased by 45% year-on-year to reach €85.7m. The same period saw its earnings increase by 63% to €42.7m, and its profits soar by 72% to reach €34.5m. The provider supplies live dealer games to online casinos around the world. Among its games offerings are Baccarat, Blackjack, Poker, Roulette, Live Dream Catcher, and Live Football Studio.