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Dublin: 13 °C Saturday 1 November, 2014

Game managers to meet with company tomorrow

More than 2000 jobs are to go in the company, which has more than 600 stores between the UK and Ireland. In total, 231 jobs will go on the island of Ireland.

Image: Sean Dempsey/PA Wire/Press Association Images

STAFF AT GAME stores are to lose their jobs after the company shut shops in the UK and Ireland.

Tomorrow, managers of the 13 Game stores in the Republic of Ireland will meet with representatives from the company to discuss of the closure of the business.

James Daly, District Development Manager and manager of the Mahon Point store in Cork, told TheJournal.ie that the stores had been told of the closure by phone this morning. “We haven’t been told an awful lot,” he said. “As a group we are meeting tomorrow and then we’re going to meet company representatives at lunchtime.”

We’ve been pretty much told collectively that we’ve been made redundant and we are not going to get any notice period. And we were told if we work for the remainder of the week clearing the store they will pay us for that and our contracts will cease on Friday or Saturday.

Daly said that as the UK-based company is still trading in the UK, Irish staff believe they should be given an adequate notice period, any holiday entitlements due, and redundancy pay.

The staff have not been given any paperwork and have been told they will be paid for the past month’s work, but will then have to apply for any entitlements due, said Daly.

“We’re not there to cause trouble,” he said. “We are there to get what we believe we are entitled to.”

We wanted to make it clear tonight that we were not just going to go quietly, we need to fight for what we believe is our right.

It is being reported that staff at the Monaghan store have begun a sit-in.

Daly said the Irish staff are “united as a group” and have been in contact with Vita Cortex workers, who have been very supportive.

An administrator has been appointed to the company, leading to the closure of all of its stores in the Republic of Ireland, a number of stores in Northern Ireland and around half of its 600 stores in the UK.

Five stores will remain open in Northern Ireland: Donegal Arcade and Abbey Centre in Belfast, Richmond Centre in Derry, and stores in Newtonards and Craigavon Rushmere centre.

In total in Ireland and the UK there will be 2,089 job losses. Of this, 121 will be in the Republic of Ireland and 110 will be in Northern Ireland.

PwC confirmed that the joint administrators “are liaising with a number of parties who have expressed an interest in purchasing part or all of the business and assets of the group”.

However, having reviewed the ongoing operational requirements of the business and with the continued difficulties on the high street, unfortunately it has been necessary to close 277 stores throughout the UK and Ireland as of today. Unfortunately, this will inevitably lead to a number of job losses and 2,089 store employees will be made redundant this week.

The administrators say they are “working closely with employees affected by this decision to ensure they receive the support they need during this difficult time to assist with their claims for redundancy and other compensatory payments”.

Mike Jervis, joint administrator and partner at PwC said:

Our priority is to continue trading the business as normal while we continue to pursue a sale. The recent job losses are regrettable but will place the company in a stronger position while we explore opportunities to conclude a sale. My team and I will be doing all we can to help the affected employees at this difficult time.

The remaining 333 stores employing 2,829 people will stay open as normal while the administrators continue their efforts to find a purchaser for the business.

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