Business Irish

Sunday 24 September 2017

Up to 170 jobs at risk as UPC to implement restructuring plan

Ed Carty

Up to 170 jobs are at risk at telecoms and television company UPC - about one fifth of the workforce.

The firm, which has 800 employees in Ireland, said it was outsourcing some aspects of its business to drive competitiveness and it would be seeking voluntary redundancies where possible and offering redeployment.

UPC said the majority of the cuts will be completed by the summer and no further redundancies are foreseen.

Both the Siptu and Unite trade unions said their officials would open talks with the company and claimed some of the jobs were being moved out of Ireland to the Philippines.

Siptu also said that UPC facilites in Dublin and Limerick will be worst affected by the redundancy programme with fewer jobs lost in Galway, Cork and Waterford.

Magnus Ternsjo, UPC chief executive, said the cuts were being implemented following an internal review of existing and future business needs.

"Making these decisions to change is difficult, but necessary. Our priority today is to meet with colleagues impacted by the programme and engage with them in the most supportive and transparent way possible," he said.

The divisions of the company faces cutbacks include customer care, sales and field operations, the company said.

"These changes are necessary to ensure the company remains competitive on all fronts and remains an agile and sustainable business," Mr Ternsjo said.

Unite has about 150 members at UPC and Siptu said about 100 of its members could be affected by the redundancy programme.

Unite regional officer Brendan Byrne said the union's priority was ensuring redundancies are voluntary.

"Unite is obviously extremely disappointed at today's announcement," 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."

Siptu organiser Dennis Hynes, said: "It is with deep regret that our members at UPC Ireland were informed of the company's plans to implement such a large number of redundancies.

"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."

Talks with unions and management will take place over the next few days.

Mr Hynes added: "The impact of these redundancies will be severe on workers and their families as well as the communities in which the workplaces are based.

"Over the coming days the focus for Siptu representatives will be on minimising the final number of redundancies and ensuring the best terms are secured for the workers who will lose their jobs."

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