Big Fish Games’ Cork employees claim to have been offered barely statutory redundancy terms

29 Aug 2013

The 89 employees of Big Fish Games in Cork who may lose their jobs if the company closes after a month-long consultation, claim they have only been offered just above minimum statutory redundancy terms. In a letter to the company’s president, they also point out that an extension to the facility had just been completed before the bad news of the cutbacks was issued last week.

Big Fish Games revealed it is planning to close its offices at CityGate in Mahon, Cork, subject to a 30-day consultation, resulting in the potential loss of 89 jobs.

The cuts were made despite 2013 being the company’s 11th straight year of record revenues, profitability and a positive cash flow.

Future Human

CEO Paul Thelen said the company intended to close its European operations in Cork and support premium games from elsewhere, as well as place a greater focus on iPad and iPod games.

The news of the impending closure of the Cork facility was accompanied by the news that 49 workers at Big Fish Games’ Seattle, Washington, operation were to lose their jobs with instant effect.

‘Minimum legal amounts as redundancy packages’

In a letter entitled Big Fish Vs. Small Fish and addressed to the new president of Big Fish Games John Holland, the Cork workers said that an extension of the Cork facility that had been completed in recent weeks gave them the impression of growth and confidence before the bad news.

“All of the 89 Cork office staff and their families also appreciate that a company in a position of strength with their best days ahead of them are also offering the barely above minimum legal amounts as redundancy packages,” the workers wrote, signing themselves Small Fishies.

“This definitely shows that all those involved in making this decision took careful consideration of the ease with which people are able to find employment in the current economic climate!

“The Big Fish Cork employees, together with their husbands, wives, sons and daughters (many of them having relocated to Cork to work for Big Fish and established lives here) are extremely grateful for the barely above minimum legal compensation packages offered.

“After all, we feared that our dismissal may in some way hurt such a successful company and we certainly do not wish this to happen.

“The current redundancy offer is a testimony to the generosity and gratefulness shown by a Big Fish, a company that raised US$83.3m from investors just a few years ago. Not to forget a company who received a grant from IDA Ireland just last year, only to completely remove operations from Ireland shortly after,” the workers wrote.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years