Axed Revolution staff in dispute

The extent of redundancies at Enfield design group Revolution caused by the winding up of its 20-strong environments subsidiary is feared to be greater than reported last week (DW 23 April).

Nine ex-staff, (four directors, four designers and a business development manager) dispute Revolution’s claims, which numbers the losses at seven.

“To our knowledge there has been no attempt to either pay or assist any of the former employees contrary to statements in the [Design Week] article,” they say.

The ex-staff will not be involved in a possible management buyout of Revolution Environments, in which remaining staff are in talks.

Nine staff, not seven, were escorted from company premises without notice or compensation, the nine say.

They also claim just five staff, rather than the eight including two executive directors claimed by Revolution, were kept on at the reformed division.

In a joint statement the nine say they had already begun to put in place a strategic brand focus process to ensure a more profitable client base, one of the main reasons cited by Revolution for winding the division up.

Despite four dismissals in late 1998 to reduce the “enormous levels of inherited debt from the previous executive management”, the nine say the team was still committed and began implementing a strategy of “creating, maximising and managing brands”.

“Quality implementation work… to maintain cashflow” led to disagreements with the board over “financial strangleholds” imposed on the division, they say.

When Revolution refused to guarantee relocation packages for a proposed move to Clerkenwell, a further four people resigned. This preceded the calling in of receivers, claim the ex-employees.

A spokeswoman for Revolution says the divison was still dependent on large implementation projects even after a restructure. “Eight staff do remain… it is with these people that a MBO has been discussed,” she says.

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