Eircom staff to seek expert advice on change plans

EIRCOM staff are to seek independent financial and technical advice on the company’s plans to introduce wholesale changes which will cost hundreds if not thousands of jobs.

Following a meeting of the national executive of the Communications Workers Union, its general secretary Steve Fitzpatrick said people had been left shell-shocked by the weekend headlines that 2,000 jobs were likely to go at the company.

He said that while changes in the company could affect hundreds of people, there was nothing to justify talk of such a high figure.

“We accept that the company faces great difficulties,” he said.

“But we have a track record of dealing with Eircom on difficult issues and we will do so again.”

The union has been given in-depth briefings by management on the difficulties facing the company and the solutions it is proposing.

Officials were informed of the state of the industry in which they were operating, the effects the recession had on that industry and the challenges posed by competition.

They were told that the amalgamation of Meteor and Eircom would see duplications of certain services and there would be economies of scale.

The union representatives were also informed that the company needed to embrace the move away from landline usage and towards mobile usage.

There is also the move towards the use of the more efficient fibre optic technology.

“All of these plans could lead to more people losing their jobs,” admitted Mr Fitzpatrick.

“But we see that we have two options. We can work with the company on using new technology or we can do nothing and hang around waiting for the company to start to creak.

“We believe we should examine each proposal and see what is and is not possible.”

Over the coming days, Mr Fitzpatrick will lead a delegation of officials working with Eircom into another series of meetings with management. He will also be briefing delegates across the union on the situation at the telecommunications company.

Staff are also to seek independent advice regarding the firm’s plans.


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