“I work in Vodafone in Dundalk. Just over three weeks ago Vodafone announced that they would be moving over 300 jobs to Newry-based company Teleperformance from the call-centres in Dublin and Dundalk. I was hoping you could help shed some light on the current situation for the employees concerned, considering the lack of coverage there has been from the likes of RTE, I’m sure this competiion on last Friday’s Late Late Show is a coincidence.
While Vodafone have advised there will be no job losses and that our jobs are merely transferring to Newry, they have not been able to guarantee the jobs in the long term. Although we have been told that we will be employed on our existing terms and conditions, Teleperformance has already advertised new positions in Newry on current N.I. minimum wage rates, considerably less than what most of the Rigney Dolphin and Vodafone staff currently earn. Which takes me onto my next point.
As it stands, there are people like myself currently working in Vodafone who literally have €10 left over from their wages each week after bills have been paid. It is simply not economically viable for most of us to travel to Newry. One example of this would be people who work part-time weekend hours in Dundalk. Although Newry is only ten minutes from Dundalk, the extra mileage and the cost of parking (which is provided free within the grounds of the current call-centres) would mean the hours an employee works on a Friday evening would be more or less spent before they even sat down at their desk. At that stage the employee would probably get more money on the dole. Then consider the Dublin employees who will have even higher petrol costs if they have to drive to Newry.I think its fair to say that all of the employees involved would much rather work than join the dole queue
A local councillor and former employee in the Dundalk call-centre estimated that the move will see a loss of €4.7 million a year to Dundalk’s economy . Local shops and businesses which rely on the business they get from the Vodafone employees, through shopping, lunches etc. immediately expressed their concern about the adverse effects the move will have on their own futures. The CWU (Communications Workers’ Union) are currently involved in a consultation process with Vodafone with the hope of keeping our jobs where they are. But judging by Vodafone’s actions last year when they outsourced jobs to India and Egypt, it remains to be seen if they will do right by their staff.”