575 jobs to go as Talk Talk plans to shutter Waterford facility

7 Sep 2011

Ireland’s southeast region has been dealt a cruel blow with the news that 575 jobs are to be lost with the closure of Talk Talk’s call centre in Waterford.

The facility is to close in the next 30 days. There is clearly little consolation in the news that some 80 jobs may be available for workers willing to relocate to the UK.

Talk Talk began operating in the southeast in 1998, with 30 workers at its Waterford facility.

The telecoms company Talk Talk was formerly a subsidiary of Carphone Warehouse but demerged from the company in 2010. The company provides broadband services in the UK.

The company has around 5m customers in the UK, where it serves TV, broadband and mobile products.

In August 2011, TalkTalk was fined stg£3m by the independent telecommunications regulator Ofcom for incorrectly billing more than 65,000 customers between 1 January 2010 and 4 March 2011.

Statement from Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Richard Bruton TD on announcement by Talk Talk:

My thoughts are with the workers impacted by this announcement by TalkTalk, as well as their families.

I have spoken at length to the company CEO and strongly urged the company to continue operations in Waterford. In the event that the company proceeds with closure, I urged her to provide a longer period to allow the government to pursue alternative solutions.

I have had extensive contact with the IDA and the other enterprise support agencies on this matter. I have asked the IDA to ensure that they make every possible effort to find alternative solutions for this excellent premises and this skilled workforce in the event that the site is closed, as proposed by the company. They assure me that work on this has already started.

I have made contact with my colleagues the Minister for Education and the Minister for Social Protection and they have assured me that all possible information on training and social welfare entitlements will be made available to workers.

I am making arrangements to travel to Waterford in the next week to meet workers, management, as well as local political and business representatives, to listen to their concerns and to offer the assistance of all relevant government bodies to provide support to workers at this extremely difficult time.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years