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Evolution is courting controversy in Georgia over allegations of poor working conditions at its office and live gaming studio in Tbilisi, after trade union negotiations failed to reach an agreement.

According to Georgian news outlet OC Media, “at least 5,000 employees” of Evolution Georgia plan to go on strike from 12 July onwards, demanding better working conditions, labour rights, and higher salaries.

The article stated that the company also stands accused of maintaining allegedly unsafe and unsanitary workplace conditions, as well as managerial harassment and inadequate pay for its Georgian staff.

Evolution informed NEXT.io that it has not yet been officially notified of any strike action.

When contacted by NEXT.io, Evolution head of investor relations Carl Linton said: “We have recently concluded a dialogue with the local union, representing a smaller number of our employees, and a mediator appointed by the government relating to a series of demands put forward by the union.

“We have not reached an agreement which has led the union in question to make several claims in the media.

“We will as always continue to follow the established local due process and applicable laws in Georgia to reach a solution to this type of conflict,” he added.

According to the article in OC Media, the allegations were brought to light by Georgian site Mautskebeli, which released screenshots and communications on Facebook purportedly exposing company management for making sexist, racist, and discriminatory remarks against employees.

Additionally, the site shared footage which allegedly depicts substandard working and sanitary conditions for janitors at Evolution Georgia.

Evolution promises investigation

Evolution has operated its live games studio in Tbilisi since 2018, and employs almost 8,000 people in Georgia.

In a statement, Evolution said: “We are proud of the workplace we provide but we always want to learn and be better. With that said, the content that has been shared between a few of our employees is unacceptable.

“We will conduct an investigation 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.”

The supplier added that while it does its “utmost to safeguard an environment built on mutual respect and trust,” it will always be a challenge to monitor, on an individual and daily basis, each action taken by all its employees.

“Whenever encountering unacceptable behaviour in Evolution, on any level, we act stringently, fair, in accordance with applicable laws in Georgia and always in the same way striving towards our common values,” the firm added.

Not officially informed of strike action

Linton added that if a strike occurs, the union is required to inform Evolution three days in advance and provide a list of employees participating in the strike.

“As of now, the union has not yet communicated a list of participants to Evolution, nor have they presented further details about the strike.

“This has only been communicated through the media,” Linton said.

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