May 23, 2005
Is a positive outcome still possible at this stage ?
Strike employees came together to discuss the situation following the second meeting with Mr. Prouteau, and are happy with the turn that negociations with Claranet has taken.
This last meeting with Mr. Prouteau was particularly beneficial : a firey debate made way for a deeper understanding of each standpoint.
Mr. Prouteau explained Claranet's position in a concise and calm manner as such giving strike representatives a much clearer idea of Claranet's point of view.
Strikers are confident that they will reach an acceptable solution with their future employer.
A further telephone meeting is to take place with Mr. Prouteau on Tuesday the 24th of May, strikers feel sure that the outcome will be positive.
May 20, 2005
Via close to bankruptcy filing...
In the 10Q report filed on the 16th of May 2005, Via state :
"The registrant continues to experience negative cash flow.
The registrant had a negative cash flow of $8.7 million for the quarter ended March, 31st 2005, leaving it with $7.8 million in cash and cash equivalent and $4.1 million restricted cash at March 31st 2005."
May 19, 2005
Second meeting with Claranet
Following last weeks meeting, a group of stike employees met with Mr. Prouteau once again today to continue discussions.
This meeting gave stikers a better idea of Claranet's position on stike demands.
A third meeting has been fixed for early next week to continue negociations.
May 15, 2005
An encouraging meeting ...
A group of Amen strike employees met with Mr. PROUTEAU, CEO of Claranet France on Friday the 13th May in preparation for negotiations.
The meeting which lasted nearly 3 and a half hours allowed for constructive dialogue which should favour positive relations with CLARANET.
A new meeting in which Mr. NASSER should participate is due to take place sometime next week. This meeting is expected to enable discussions in relation to strike demands.
These employees are pleased with this breakthrough after 29 days of
May 13, 2005
Who stands to profit from the strike ?
29th day of strike action.
Striking employees have finally obtained a preliminary meeting today with Claranet in preparation for a meeting with Mr. Nasser, which should take place at the end of next week.
On the 9th of May strikers invited Mr. Nasser to meet with them, this meeting is now likely to take place - 2 WEEKS LATER !
Who stands to benefit from extended strike action ?
- Certainly not Amen customers, who are being evermore penalized by the
paralysis of customer services & support in particular.
- VIA ? After nearly 1 month of strike, have Via counted on the action losing momentum due to the dire financial circumstances strikers find themselves in ?
- Claranet? Is it not in Claranet's interest that the strike continue until to 1st of June, the date when ownership transfer should go through, unless there is found to be a "Material Adverse Change" in Via's business. The "Material Adverse Change" gives Claranet a backdoor out of this deal altogether.
The strike and its consequences would seem to constitute a "material adverse change".
Is the goal to decrease Amen's worth ?
Or, is this delay strategy one that has been drawn up from the offset in order to avoid paying Amen salaries ?
May 13, 2005
Via stock prices plummet
VIA NET.WORKS stock has dropped to $0.13, one of the lowest rates recorded in the companys existence.
May 11, 2005
Extracts from Via's 2004 annual report
According to our estimates, the provisioning of the totality
of Amen employees for a period of 12 months amounts to +/- ˆ1,100,000
VIA NET.WORKS has so far refused to provision salaries for Amen employees for the year to come.
2004 Salaries & bonuses for the year 2004 (extract from VIA NETWORKS annual report for the year ending 2004 )
- Mr Theunissen - Vice President & President, Amen S.A.S. age : 36
- Mr Nydell- Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary age : 42
- Mr Walsh - Chief Executive Officer age : 39
At the same time, Mr Walsh negotiated redundancy terms for his person. If VIA
terminates his employment without cause, Mr. Walsh will be entitled to a
severance payment equal to twelve months of his base salary at the time of such
The board of directors has recently authorized the Company to provide a deal bonus to Messrs. Walsh and Nydell (in charge of the negotiation with Claranet) in the event that a transaction for the sale of the Company or substantially all the assets of the Company is consummated. Upon closing of such transaction, Messrs. Walsh and Nydell would receive an amount equal to 30% of their annual salary .
May 10, 2005
Customers crying out for help ...
On Thursday the 4th of May Amen sent out a Press Release intended to appease
customers though Claranet don't seem to be in any hurry to open discussions with
strike employees and as such restore customer services to an acceptable
standard. In the meantime
a number of customers seem to be getting increasingly frustrated and annoyed at the lack of support that they have to suffer. Is it not time to reach a solution ?
Please see below some examples of pleas made directly to strike employees from Amen customers...
I am an individual whose site (hosted with Amen) has been offline for over 10 days. My email is completely down and I cannot upload files.
I have yet to receive a reply to my renewal request sent on the 2nd of May. My account has been debited and yet it seems that renewal has not been activated. Is this problem related to the strike that I have just learned of ?
What is going on ?
Please reply and the best of luck"
Our site has expired. We need it to work & reply to our cusotmers. I wish to renew but nobody is answering when I call 08 92 55 66 77 (& it is impossible to renew via the Amen website)
Do you have a different no. and can you offer another solution ?
this may not be the best place to ask a question, but I'm willing to chance it ;
What is happening with customer support over the last few days ?
My site, together with email, has been inacessible for 5 days now.
I am a small business web developper.
I have sent several mails to Amen customer support, and have received either no response or one that is completely meaningless...
What am I supposed to do ?
Normally I host 1 or 2 new sites with you each month but I don't think this will continue. And you know that I am not the only one ... Your sales people are largely people such as myself who bring their new clients to you.
I support your movement, I understand your fears (I have been following in the press), but please, don't make your customers pay the price, that would be too easy, and is the best way to ensure that the company goes bust.
Message of support
"Hi all Amen strikers, Your demands are justified !! The high-tech industry
is made up of men and women before anything PC batteries. I have been a customer
of Amen for over 1 year and I know that you do a good job, as such it is normal
that you would fight for the right to continue your work and this in proper conditions.
And I, who was ready to order a dedicated server...
We are just like you...Tell your bosses-owners that Amen cusotmers like me
are going to leave if they continue to treat their staff in this manner. Even
on the web there has to be ethics and respect for the worker."
Re-opening negociations ? Its all up to Mr. Nasser
On the strikers iniative, Mr. Nasser, CEO of Claranet, was invited to meet 9
Amen managers currently on strike. (To date Mr. Nasser has met non-strike
employees including 2 department managers.)
The aim of this meeting is obtain guarantees on the following four points :
* in order to assure customers service & pack continuity, no platform migration shall take place
* Amen employees are guaranteed the provision of 12 months salary at their existing basic salary.
* each Amen regional office shall remain in its current geographical location
* Mr. Olivier Ruffin shall be reinstated as Chief Technical Officer
- to sum up the result of 3 and a half weeks of strike
To date Tuesday 10 of May, strikers have yet to receive any reply or even invitation acknowledgement from Mr. Nasser.
May 04, 2005
The official statement vs. reality
While Amen's communication manager was busy sending out an official press
release, her non-striking colleagues took their own initiatives by calling
several strikers individually explaining that their intention was to "help
them". They admitted that they are concerned about the future of the company if
the strikers do not return to work.
This leaves strikers wondering if their non-strike colleagues share the views of Amen's President & if they were consulted before this Press Release was sent out.
Today, there are 9 full-time permanent individuals at Amen France, without
either the competence or training to cover the work of their
47 colleagues : 27 Amen employess, 20 sub-contracted individuals whose back-office access has been cut.
Have the non-strikers finally understood the gravity of the situation, with an ever-increasing backlog of customer support issues to be processed and their only aid, the 2 extra untrained Via France employees sent over to help as an emergency measure ?
Can they really pretend that they alone can support customers from a
commercial and technical point of view be it via email, telephone or mail, to
respond to the
customers complaints together with day-to-day account issues?
Everything is fine, everything is just fine !?
The manager of communications at Amen, Karen Seror, issued a Press Release
yesterday the 4th of May.
The objective of this press release was to assure interested parties that its business as usual at Amen. The release
states that the turnover is on the up & up, that the delays in reponse to customers are being made up and will be resolved within
10 days, that customer services are being assured etc...
Amen employees on strike now for 20 consecutive days, are dumbstruck by the terms of this press release.
Isn't it irresponsible and misleading to diffuse such information?
While 9 out of 11 managers at Amen are today on strike, who in their absence
is in a position to give an acurate synopsis of the current situation ? The
manager of communications? The project manager ?
Or perhaps Dick Theunissen the legal president of Amen appointed by Via Networks just one year ago, and who has no proven legitimacy?
May 03, 2005
Open letter to Mr. Charles Nasser
Since the definitive agreement was signed between Claranet and VIA NET.WORKS was signed, it has not been possible for us to have a direct meeting with you to discuss the current situation. Today you have the opportunity to make contact with us so that we may arrive at a conclusion that is mutually acceptable.
We turned to you on two occasions before the definitive deal was signed, we
trust that this gives you adequate proof of our need and desire to enter into
negotiations. How should we interpret your refusal to meet your 9 managers
currently on strike (FYI :there are only 2 managers not are not currently on
What are your intentions now ? To allow the situation to further deteriorate ? And if so, to what end ?
Today is the 19th consecutive day of strike action. Almost three weeks that the customer has had to pay