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Siptu and Unite members in Virgin Media vote to take industrial action

Virgin Media said it has not received any notification from the unions.

SIPTU AND UNITE members currently employed by Virgin Media Ireland have voted in favour of taking industrial action. 

Siptu said today’s ballot, which includes action up to and including strike action, was taken in a dispute concerning compulsory redundancies.

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

Siptu and Unite say they represent more than 350 members across all grades of staff in Virgin Media Ireland locations across the country – including call centre, technical, administration and sales staff.

Siptu said its strike committee will meet next week in order to decide the nature of the industrial action the workers will undertake and when it will commence.

Siptu organiser Rachel Keane said members remain open to negotiations with management “in order to achieve a just solution”.

Virgin Media previously said “difficult decisions” had been made by the firm to keep up in what it had described as a “highly competitive market”. The company said that “it is envisaged that up to 65 roles may potentially be affected”. 

In a statement this evening, a spokesperson for Virgin Media said the company has not received any notification from the union, describing their threat of industrial action as unwarranted. 

“We believe this threat by the unions is totally unwarranted,  particularly when none of the recently announced redundancies occurred within the collective bargaining group. 

“For the record, the redundancy programme has now concluded and has resulted in 40 redundancies which was significantly lower number than the original estimate of 65,” the spokesperson concluded. 

Siptu disputes this claim and said its members are “extremely disappointed” that management has failed to engage with their union representatives to resolve this dispute.

“This dispute concerns an attempt to impose compulsory redundancies and the failure by the company to implement a Labour Court recommendation concerning pay as well numerous breaches of a collective agreement which was agreed in 2008,” said Siptu organiser Martin Mannion. 

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