#Open journalism No news is bad news

Your contributions will help us continue to deliver the stories that are important to you

Support The Journal
Dublin: 9°C Monday 27 September 2021
Advertisement

Laid-off Talk Talk staff 'had trained the people who took their jobs'

Employees in Waterford have told how they travelled abroad to train staff at other centres, who will now be doing their jobs.

Image: Andrew Milligan/PA Archive/Press Association Images

THE MINISTER FOR Jobs and Enterprise, Richard Bruton, will travel to Waterford today to meet with staff and management at the Talk Talk call centre which will be closed next month.

Around 575 jobs will be lost when the facility outside Waterford city closes – the entire workforce. The company said the complex was being shuttered as jobs have been outsourced to other countries.

The minister will also meet with local business and political representatives, as the government searches for a way to alleviate the effect of the job cuts.

Workers have also spoken of their anger at how they travelled abroad to train staff who will now be taking over their jobs. Paul O’Brien said he had made a number of trips to Preston in the UK, to train employees there.

At the time, he had no idea the  Waterford facility would be closing. “We were told that it was in case we got busy, that they would be a backup,” he said. “But all along we were training them to take our jobs.”

Mr O’Brien said he believed company managers had planned to close the Waterford complex for some time. “It was a decision they made, to close the Waterford facility”, he told RTÉ’s Marian Finucane. “Once all the guys in Preston had been trained up on our jobs, they closed Waterford.”

‘Trip of a lifetime’

Mervyn Marsh also described how he had travelled on lavish all-expenses-paid trips to India while working for Talk Talk, with a “blank cheque book” and staying in “six or seven-star hotels”.

It later emerged that these trips were also to train workers who would take over jobs from Waterford. “It was the trip of a lifetime,” he said. “It will stay with me for the rest of my life, but it will also haunt me.”

Last week, recordings emerged of the meeting at which the closure was announced. Staff were told that they had “done a fantastic job”, and the closure was “not about their performance”. They will finish work on October 7.

Meanwhile, details have emerged of the lavish party the company held in Manchester for its UK and Ireland staff over the weekend. Some 350 workers at the Waterford facility had signed up to travel to the UK, but it is thought that only a few were planning to attend after the redundancies were announced.

The event featured a day of activities and free food and drink for hundreds of staff, and an evening concert headlined by rapper Tinchy Stryder.

Speaking to Marian Finucane, one staff member expressed scepticism about the minister’s visit. He said:

Richard Bruton is coming down on Monday but what’s he going to do? And all these promises before they got elected. Just look around at the region, Wexford, Tipperary, Kilkenny – there’s nothing around. I don’t see any choice except leaving the country.

Listen: The moment Talk Talk staff were told of closure>

Read: 575 jobs lost as Talk Talk to close Waterford call centre >

Read: Talk Talk closure a ‘dark day for Waterford’ >

About the author:

Michael Freeman

Read next:

COMMENTS (7)