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Siptu announces it is to ballot its Virgin Media members over industrial action

The action may include striking.

Image: Shutterstock/ChrisDorney

SIPTU MEMBERS CURRENTLY employed by Virgin Media are to ballot for industrial action after the broadcaster announced it was cutting dozens of jobs. 

The union said it was taking the action, which includes action up to and including strike action, in a dispute concerning compulsory redundancies.

Last week, the Unite trade union announced its staff had unanimously decided to ballot for industrial action. 

The company, which provides TV, mobile and broadband services, currently employs around 1,600 people.

It was reported in recent weeks that the company may cut up to 65 jobs in the next month. 

SIPTU Organiser, Rachel Keane, said: “At very well attended meetings of our members held recently in Limerick, Dublin and Cork it was unanimously decided to conduct a ballot for industrial action, up to and including strike action.

“Our member’s decision followed the company’s failure to engage with Siptu representatives prior to its announcement that it intends to to make up to 65 workers redundant, failure to implement a Labour Court recommendation concerning pay and numerous breaches of a collective agreement which was agreed in 2008.”

Our members are also completely shocked at the company’s unacceptable behaviour in disrespecting their right to be represented collectively by their union. They have been through ‘transformation programmes’ with the company as recently as 2015 but now Virgin Media Ireland, owned by UK Liberty Global, is choosing to ignore normal industrial relations procedures in Ireland.

Last week, Virgin Media released a statement saying “difficult decisions” had been made by the firm to keep up in what it had described as a “highly competitive market”.

In its statement, Virgin Media said: “As stated recently, we are entering a transformation and efficiency programme to ensure continued revenue growth in a highly competitive market”. 

“This involves making some difficult decisions which will impact a number of roles in the Virgin Media Ireland business.”

The company said that “it is envisaged that up to 65 roles may potentially be affected and we have entered a 30-day consultation period with staff members. This is being conducted in a sensitive and appropriate manner”.  

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