On Monday 26 March GAME workers begun their sit-in protest, after they were told to close stores early and go home, as there was no longer a job for them. The staff were told they would have to apply to the state for redundancy and that they were not getting wages due to them.
This would mean that the workers would receive their payment up to 18 months later than if GAME were to pay. The GAME workers are demanding immediate payment of all money owed.
They are also withholding stock until they get their fair payment. Their actions demonstrate the development of the workers movement and an awareness of the disregard big business has for its employees.
The sudden and callous manner of GAME’s actions is all too similar to those of La Senza, whose staff also stood up courageously to fight the appalling injustice that was imposed on them by the company. This is another example of major companies using the recession as an excuse to escape paying workers their pay entitlements and fair redundancy package.
The repeated exploitation of workers by retailers, such as La Senza and GAME, exposes the law which is failing to protect workers. Instead, the law has only acted to protect companies’ profits and allowed workers to be sacked and stores closed with little or no notice.
When are the ICTU and affiliated unions going to take action to stop what is now becoming a trend in Irish society for companies to close down and walk away without fulfilling their obligations?
Action must be taken to win decent redundancy payments for workers – statutory minimum is not enough – but more than this the union movement should be waging war in order to save these jobs! GAME is a profitable company – these job losses should not be accepted.
The 120 GAME staff in 13 stores are taking an important stand. Their militancy and determination needs to be matched by the union leaders – fight for every job and fight for every cent that workers are owed!