Belfast Telegraph

TalkTalk urged to delay closure

The Government has heaped pressure on TalkTalk management to delay closing its Waterford operation, claiming the 30-day deadline was abrupt and unfair.

As 575 workers and management were locked in talks over redundancy terms, the Jobs Minister revealed enterprise chiefs have been ordered to search for an alternative company to fill the complex.

Richard Bruton - who will meet staff, management and local politicians on Monday - said TalkTalk was considering his request to put back the closure.

"This decision to close within 30 days, I think is too abrupt. It's not fair to people," he said.

"We need to see the opportunity for IDA to search for alternatives, and I repeat the request now that the company gives more time so that we can turn over every stone and make sure that we give this facility and the workers there a chance of finding replacement employment."

Taoiseach Enda Kenny insisted authorities should have been given more time to deal with the fall-out from the devastating job cuts.

"They (TalkTalk management) could have at least have given a signal to authorities and to government that they were considering a change of this devastating impact," the Taoiseach said.

The call centre will close in 30 days, with about 80 positions available to staff willing to move to the UK.

Social Protection Minister Joan Burton has pledged her department's assistance in helping distressed workers. Representatives from her department, the Community Welfare Service, Money Advice and Budgeting Services (MABS) and Fas will meet employees in the coming weeks.

TalkTalk is pulling the plug on the Waterford operation after a huge fall in customer service phone business and amid plans to outsource.

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