Big Fish staff criticise redundancy packages
on 30/08/2013 00:00:00
The jobs losses come despite US-based Big Fish recording its 11th straight year of record revenue.
The workers' claim was contained in a statement on their Big Fish V Small Fish blog yesterday. Addressed to newly promoted company president John Holland, it included a stinging attack on senior company executives over the way the closure announcement was handled.
The 89 staff said they and their families - many of whom relocated to Cork to work for Big Fish - 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," they said.
"The current redundancy offer is a testimony to the generosity and gratefulness shown by a Big Fish, a company that raised $83.3m from investors just a few years ago - not to forget a company which received a grant from IDA Ireland last year, only to completely remove operations from Ireland shortly after."
Big Fish announced a major reorganisation last week which included the closure of its Vancouver office, the axing of 49 staff from its Seattle office, and proposals to close the Cork facility, subject to a 30-day consultation with staff, with the potential loss of 89 jobs.
Founder and CEO Paul Thelen said Big Fish will be discontinuing its premium cloud delivery business, and plans to focus on its free-to-play businesses, with more investment in the premium casual business in its four largest language markets - English, French, German and Japanese.
Marine Minister Simon Coveney said the closure of the Cork office came as a surprise to the Government. The announcement was made on the same day Mr Thelen promoted Mr Holland to company president.
The staff said the jobs news came just a month after the same company executives praised the value and work of the Cork office.
"The executives were so happy with the quality of work provided in the Cork facility that they decided to extend the office space," they said. "This extension has been ongoing for the past month, giving the impression of growth and confidence in the values of the Cork office.
"This work was completed on Tuesday Aug 20, just in time for the celebrations.
"Clearly a further display of how thoughtful and meticulous our company is - good timing is another Big Fish value."
Big Fish said it is engaged in the initial stages of a 30-day consultation process with staff and that those discussions are confidential.
"For reasons of confidentiality, it is not possible to comment further," said a spokesman.