VIA Networks has acknowledged the strike, but says that all hosting operations at Amen are being properly maintained by VIA staff. The Amen on Strike blog asserted that “certain services require manual validation and as there is no support in place these orders have gone unattended.”
As in any acquisition, the nature of the deal leaves Amen staff with little leverage. Claranet can offer no assurances, as it does not yet employ the workers. As the seller (and a cash-strapped one at that), VIA Networks has limited ability to dictate terms to Claranet on employee retention – even if it were negotiating with the striking Amen workers. Uncontent to wait for news, the Amen workers decided instead on a job action, with the blog serving as a digital megaphone to air their grievances to the public and the press.
The Amen and PSI Net Europe assets were placed for sale last month when VIA said it faced “an urgent liquidity crisis.” The distressed sale continues the consolidation in the European hosting market following a flurry of 2004 deals in which Freenet bought Tect’s hosting operation, Host Europe PLC was bought by Pipex, NetBenefit purchased Easily Ltd., and Lycos Europe bought United-Domains of Munich.