Lockwood Publishing Ltd. accused of employment law violations

Accused of laying off 33 workers from a force of 200 at once

Dozens of workers at Lockwood Publishing are taking collective action to defend themselves against an unlawful massive redundancy. Lockwood Publishing, best known for the popular 3D RPG Avakin Life, is facing accusations of employment law violations by the Independent Workers’ Union of Great Britain (IWGB), a trade union that represents game workers.

Lockwood Publishing accused of employment law violations

According to the allegations by IWGB, Lockwood Publishing is trying to lay off 33 out of a workforce of 200. IWGB says the workforce was not consulted about this high number of layoffs, which would be a breach of employment law.

The layoffs come despite a big Tencent partnership, and the CEO making over $300,000 a year. The redundancies are also bizarre given the popularity of its games like Avakin Life over lockdown, which has reached 7 million monthly users, across 250 million accounts. It was also found that the company’s CEO makes £360k, leading many to question if these redundancies are truly necessary.

“One day without any previous notice, HR called us into an agendaless meeting. We were told we were at risk of redundancy but not given any real explanation as to why. Some people had their work accounts deactivated within minutes and were told they couldn’t say goodbye to their co-workers”.

-anonymous employee at lockwood publishing

The union was formed as a response to the lack of transparency regarding such a high amount of employees facing job loss over the holidays. “We are asking management at Lockwood Publishing to halt this unlawful and illegitimate process of redundancies and avoid costly legal and reputational damage in the process”, said a representative of The Lockwood Union.

“No one should be sacked at Christmas, especially when there are clear alternatives available. Ultimately, we all want the same thing: we want a flourishing organization that we are proud to work for. To do that, senior management at Lockwood have to start listening to their workers”. The union goes on to compare the case to that of Activision Blizzard and Ubisoft, who face their own workplace abuse allegations. Lockwood Publishing is yet to issue a statement as a response to the allegations.

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