170 redundancies at UPC as jobs to be 'moved abroad'
UNION representatives will this morning begin urgent meetings with telecoms giant UPC over its plan to implement 170 redundancies.
Siptu, which represents about 100 of the affected employees, claims that some of the jobs will be moved to the Philippines.
UPC announced it was implementing changes as part of a restructuring programme to improve its competitiveness, that could result in the loss of about one-fifth of its total Irish workforce.
Most of the job losses will be at its Limerick and Dublin facilities but there could be other redundancies at its operations in Cork, Galway and Waterford.
UPC employs 800 in Ireland. Some 377 work at UPC in Limerick, where there is expected to be "substantial" job losses, with a lesser number in Galway, Cork and Waterford.
Staff at Roxboro were called into a briefing yesterday where management outlined the proposals.
It is understood while voluntary redundancies will be sought initially, if UPC fails to secure enough numbers, jobs will then go on a compulsory basis.
Siptu organiser Dennis Hynes said: "Management has stated that the redundancies are unavoidable due to the company's decision to implement a restructuring plan which will see some operations relocated to the Philippines and others amalgamated."
He added: "Over the coming days, the focus for Siptu representatives will be on minimalising the final number of redundancies and ensuring the best terms are secured for the workers who will lose their jobs." He said discussions with the company would continue throughout the statutory 30-days consultative period, if necessary, before any of the redundancies could be implemented.
Unite regional officer Brendan Byrne said his priority was ensuring redundancies were voluntary.
He said: "Our priority now is to ensure that all redundancies are voluntary and that the workers concerned receive the best possible terms, while also securing the long-term future of UPC's operations and maintaining and improving the terms and conditions of the remaining workers."
It is expected the company redundancies will be completed by summer.
UPC chief executive Magnus Ternsjö said: "The changes taking place will impact a number of divisions across the company but primarily relate to activities in customer care, sales and field operations."
The company said it does not foresee any further redundancies.