CWU bid to save 300 local jobs at BT Enniskillen after shock announcement

Telecoms & Financial Services, BT

Northern Ireland Telecoms Branch to meet next week with national union leaders and local politicans to plan campaign against job losses…

Communication Workers Union leaders and representatives reacted with shock and dismay to BT Group’s announcement this week, reported by the BBC, that it may close its customer-contact centre in Enniskillen, County Fermanagh, and transfer the work elsewhere.

Deputy general secretary-elect Karen Rose and national officer Stephen Albon will meet members next week, as well as Enniskillen’s MP and Northern Ireland Assembly Members, to discuss the crisis and work together in a determined effort to save jobs.

Speaking to CWU News today, the union’s Northern Ireland Telecoms Branch secretary Mark Feehily said: “This would be terrible for our members who’ve given many years of loyal service to the company and to customers. I work at this site, as does my wife and it’s the biggest single employer in Enniskillen. Closing this office would have a massive effect on our town and we want to do everything we can to keep jobs in our town.

“It’s good that Karen and Stephen are coming over next week and it’s also good that there’s been an immediate political response to the company’s announcement. We’ve heard from our MLA (Northern Ireland Assembly Member) Jemma Dolan in support of our members, and MLA Tom Elliot has expressed his strong concerns at a potential closure as well. We’re going to see what we can do to build on that support and among the local community as a whole.

“What a lot of people outside of Northern Ireland often don’t realise is that there’s a real economic imbalance over here between Belfast and other towns and cities such as Enniskillen,” Mark added.

DGS-elect Karen Rose told CWU News: “We had a good discussion with the Northern Ireland Telecoms Branch leadership this morning and Stephen and I will be meeting up with local members face-to-face next week.

“We’re going to do everything we can to make the strongest possible case to BT Group to urge them to keep jobs in Enniskillen. It’s right for our members, right for the community and the right decision for the company too.”

Karen added: “Our top priority is job security for our members and we’re working with the company on this in relation to other announcements by the business this week in Scotland and on Merseyside.”