Union fears 400 jobs will go at An Post this year

The leader of the country’s largest communications union has forecast up to 400 jobs could go in An Post before the end of the year.

Ahead of his union’s three-day conference, Steve Fitzpatrick, general secretary of the Communications Workers’ Union, which has 16,000 members, said work volumes had dropped by 30% at An Post since the peak of the Celtic Tiger.

He said combined with that, the company was dealing with the opening of the market to competition.

“We are facing job losses in An Post,” he said. “This year it could be 300-400 thanks to the collapse which can be linked to the lack of economic activity.”

Among the other major issues which will dominate the conference is the examinership process at Eircom.

He said a positive from the union’s point of view was that a strategic plan had been put forward which includes an investment programme.

“From our perspective that will protect workers at least for the next few years. When you build a fibre-optic network it doesn’t take the same level of maintenance as the old copper.

“The engineering staff who are the main affected, their average age is in the 50s, so the hope would be that would take the majority of those people to retirement age or close enough to want to go.”

The union will also consider the ongoing situation at Vodafone which the union has accused of exporting jobs out of Ireland.

The latest announcement from the company came in March when it confirmed it was moving to a new customer care provider, Teleperformance, which has a base in Newry. More than 300 staff are affected.

“At Vodafone, the trend is to outsource everything to get out of anything that isn’t core. Our concern is that this is just the start. Hopeful we can do a reasonable agreement for the people who lose their jobs but ultimately those jobs will still be gone if we do. Our fear is what comes after that.”

During the conference the delegates will also vote on whether to recommend a yes or no vote on the Fiscal Treaty.


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