The death of Game
It’s been a week since Game closed its doors in Ireland, putting 121 people out of a job and becoming the latest casualty of the downturn.
It wasn’t entirely unexpected, with warning signs that the group was in difficulty for some months before it was forced to negotiate with suppliers and lost out on stocking some of the big titles – notably EA’s Mass Effect 3.
The speed of the decision was what was shocking to employees. On Monday, a notice came through that administrators had been appointed. At lunchtime that same day, Game’s Irish stores were told to shut their doors.
These signs were placed in the window of the Dawson Street store; similar signs were seen in other Game shops around the country.
Game had just over 600 stores across the UK and Ireland, and last Monday, the administrators closed 277 of them. Every store in the Republic was closed, with only five remaining on the island of Ireland, all of them in the North. That’s 121 people out of a job in the Republic and 110 in the North, with no real period of notice.
The remaining British stores have been sold to investment firm OpCapita, saving almost 3,200 jobs in Britain, but it does nothing for the Irish workers, whose stores will remain closed.
On Saturday, the group put out a statement, saying the administrators (PwC) have told them that they must apply directly to the Government for their redundancy, as neither the administrators nor the company will be paying it. I’m not sure what the exact waiting time is now for obtaining statutory redundancy payments from the State, but it certainly won’t be in time for employees to have the money to pay their mortgages and bills next month. You’re looking at a couple of months if you’re lucky; as of mid-March this was the update for processing claims.
Game’s staff aren’t taking it lying down though. They are still protesting at the closure, staging demonstrations and sit ins at 11 stores. There’s been a decent bit of support for them; if you want to lend your voice to it, you can get them on Facebook, on Twitter, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.