350 jobs to go at NTL and Chorus

3 Jul 2006

The parent company of NTL and Chorus in Ireland, UPC, has revealed plans to make 350 workers in Ireland redundant – over one-third its Irish workforce – as part of a re-organisation that will see the two companies consolidate under one single brand.

In a statement this evening UPC said that the fundamental focus of the plan is about improving the way both businesses are run.

UPC Ireland, the new parent company of cable operator NTL Ireland and Chorus commenced the first phase of its combined operations programme in early 2006. This resulted in the formation of the new management team, led by Robert Dunn, the company’s new CEO.

Combined, NTL and Chorus employ 1,200 people in Ireland. It is believed that the decision will see the closure of NTL’s call centre in Waterford city.

Commenting on the plan Dunn said: “The objective is to create a strong national operator for television, internet and telephony services. Our customers expect us to provide the highest possible quality of service in an increasingly competitive environment. I am confident that this transition will achieve that.”

The company said a thorough technical and organisational analysis has been made to avoid duplication and inefficiencies within the overall organisation.

As a result, certain activities, currently undertaken by NTL Ireland, will be transferred to Chorus and vice versa.

UPC Ireland said the re-organisation will result in a transfer of work to different locations and a reduction of the total number of functions between Chorus and NTL Ireland.

Consultations with the workforce and employee representatives are ongoing, UPC said.

The statement continued: “The aim is as much as possible to find appropriate alternatives within the new structure for those employees affected but a certain number of redundancies cannot be excluded.

“We estimate that there may be up to 350 redundancies commencing from September 2006 and concluding in March 2007. On the other hand, we may also be able to create up to 140 new positions.”

By John Kennedy