News : Unions at Eir’s Call Centre Threaten Strikes Over Exit Terms for 650 Dublin Staff
Dublin, Ireland, Sept 18, 2018 -- Staff at the outsourcing company that operates Eir’s customer call centre are to ballot for industrial action over "derisory" redundancy packages that have been offered to 650 Dublin-based staff. The staff have been given the choice of either accepting redundancy, or moving jobs to Cork, Limerick or Sligo.
Eir this month announced it is taking back in-house about 950 roles from HCL Technologies, the Indian call centre company that runs the contract. Eir and HCL have been in discussions for months over concerns that Eir customers were receiving poor service via the call centre. It is proposed that the Dublin call centre be shut, and staff relocated to work for Eir’s other facilities elsewhere.
HCL this week arranged meetings with unions and staff in Telephone House, the city centre building where the majority of staff manning the Eir call centre are based. It offered them a redundancy package believed to be about two weeks pay per year of service for many workers, sparking anger among those who are unwilling or unable to move to Cork, Limerick or Sligo to work for Eir.
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The Communications Workers Union (CWU) this afternoon denounced the proposed redundancy package, and threatened strike action at HCL. A ballot is planned to take place in coming days.
"Our National Executive Council pre-emptively authorised the Union to conduct a ballot of members in circumstances where redundancy proposals tabled by the company adversely impacted the interests of workers at the company," said Steve Fitzpatrick, general secretary of the CWU.
"Yesterday, HCL management presented redundancy packages for up to 650 workers at the company that are impacted by the announcements last week from HCL and Eir. The packages are derisory and unacceptable. We are now proceeding to ballot for industrial action at HCL, up to and including strike."
HCL responded: "The well-being of our employees is paramount, and we are going over and above the minimum requirement to ensure they are well supported."
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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Eircom Limited, trading as Eir, is a fixed, mobile and broadband telecommunications company in Ireland, and a former state-owned monopolist. It is the largest telecommunications operator in the Republic, with a division to service the business & corporate telecom markets in Northern Ireland and Britain. As Bord Telecom Éireann, the company was state-owned until 1999, when it was floated on the Irish and New York Stock Exchanges.
Published: Thursday, September 20, 2018