herald

Tuesday 14 August 2018

Your job is gone, Talk Talk worker finds out ... on

BOLT FROM BLUE: City rocked as 575 workers axed at call centre

A young mother-of-one logged onto Facebook before leaving for work -- but she could barely believe what she was reading.

"I found out that I've got no job," said Kerry Mitchell, outside Talk Talk in the IDA business park in Waterford yesterday.

There was no warning for the staff but by lunchtime, the word was out all over Waterford city that 575 jobs were to be axed by the British broadband and telecoms firm.

Staff were in the dark about what was coming -- so much so that some were looking forward to the company's ten-year celebration -- with a party planned for them in England.

"They were going to fly us all out there and have a big party in a castle with a band and everything. We got an email about it but all the while, they were planning on cutting our jobs," said one shocked worker, who hastily added that they would not be attending now.

Another, Martin Byrne, looked shaken as he emerged from Talk Talk's call centre, unlocked his bicycle and cycled away from his livelihood.

Alan Butler's wife called him yesterday to say she heard his job was gone. "I was only on my way into work," he explained.

Alan has a ten-month-old baby and a mortgage but he is now facing the prospect of joining the dole queue.

Mother-of-two Lisa Weldon has worked in Talk Talk for six "tough" years.



Screaming

"When the company got fined (by Ofcom), we had people screaming down the phones, we did everything that we were asked and this is how we are being treated?"

Lisa has a six-year-old in school and a 20-month-old baby. "I have rent, bills, a car. I'm going to have to take the child out of nursery."

A woman pulled up in a blue Renault Megane for a meeting she had been told to attend at 3.30pm -- only to find her co-workers outside the building in tears.

Staff were furious that they had been sent abroad, in some cases, to provide training to customer service agents in India and the UK.

"Little did we know we were training them up to take our jobs," said Mervyn Marshall.

"We were told we were training people to improve the existing quality," he added. Mr Marshall had been sent to New Delhi for Talk Talk.

He has worked for the company for almost six years and is married with three children.

Another family of three sisters and five cousins all lost their jobs yesterday because of the closure.

Married couples are also affected -- and one couple may even decide to call off their wedding, which had been planned for next summer because of the devastating news.

Fine Gael TD Paidi Coffey said the decision was a "bolt from the blue".

"It is a crushing blow. I know it's a young workorce and I know many of them personally. I'd be concerned at how the company treated them."

hnews@herald.ie

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