SBC News Evolution faces Georgia Strike over poor working conditions 

Evolution faces Georgia Strike over poor working conditions 

Evolution Gaming faces scrutiny in Georgia related to the working environment of its office and live gaming studio in Tbilisi.

Georgian media reports that “at least 5,000 employees” of Evolution Georgia will go on strike from 12 July, demanding improved working conditions, labour rights and higher salaries.

Recognised as global gambling’s highest-valued games developer, Stockholm-listed Evolution Gaming has been accused of maintaining “unsafe and unsanitary workplace conditions, harassment by managers, and meagre pay” for staff in Georgia. 

The accusations were brought to light by Mautskebeli, a Georgian trade union news source that published screenshots and communications of company management involved in abuse, including “sexist, racist, and discriminatory remarks against employees.”

The damning content was followed by the publication of footage detailing the poor working and sanitary conditions of janitors at Evolution Georgia.

Evolution has operated its live games studio in Tbilisi since 2018, launched as the tech group’s third office in Europe supporting its operations in Latvia and Malta.

Last week, Evolution issued a response stating that “reports of employee dismissals are categorically unacceptable.” An investigation has been launched by Evolution “to get to the bottom of the problem and take appropriate actions and increase our efforts to make sure that all employees adhere to and respect our common values.”

Evolution is committed to the development of its Georgia office, which employs over 8,000 staff, with the company committed to investment in staff development. 

The statement acknowledged a commitment to abiding by Georgia’s employment laws but noted the challenges of monitoring a workforce of over 8,000 employees. Evolution stated that it would address all instances of unacceptable behaviour promptly and swiftly.

The strike action will be led by Giorgi Diasamidze, chair of the LABOR union, who announced that up to 5,000 employees would initially join the strike. The union and Evolution Georgia employees have been negotiating for better labour rights for two years without reaching an agreement.

Evolution Georgia has previously faced criticism for its treatment of staff as in March 2020, the company laid off 1,300 employees, citing economic challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The incident saw the  Social Justice Centre filed a lawsuit on behalf of 14 terminated employees.

Additionally, in 2022, Georgia’s then-Public Defender Nino Lomjaria reported instances of sexual harassment at the company, with employees alleging they received sexually suggestive and humiliating messages.

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