Belfast Telegraph

Firstsource suspensions: We're scapegoats, says data breach row staffer

By Donna Deeney

A worker who is among 100 staff suspended from a call centre where an investigation into possible data breaches is under way claimed he was shouted at and told to go to HR to be suspended.

Firstsource call centre in Londonderry has confirmed an internal investigation into "a number of policies and procedures" which may have been breached by members of staff.

The company refused to provide details on the exact nature of the alleged breaches.

It is understood that it is expected to be concluded early next week and will involve all levels of employees, from new entrants to those in top managerial positions.

Among those affected is Daniel Laird, who criticised the manner in which he was told he was suspended.

He said: "Obviously I can't speak publicly about the finer detail of what we are being accused of, but the first I became aware of it was when it was shouted across the floor at me to go to the HR office.

"I think it isn't hard to see that when you get over 100 people all accused of doing the same thing at the same time it is not because they all spontaneously thought about it individually.

"We feel we are being scapegoated for practices we were not comfortable about."

The investigation will include meetings with the suspended workers. Liam Gallagher from the Derry Trade Unions Council wants the company to allow the workers to have an "accredited companion" at the meetings.

He said: "The difficulty for us is that the company does not recognise trade unions, but we will not abandon these workers because of that."

Derry City councillor Brian Tierney, who is a former Firstsource employee, said: "I have met with a number of Firstsource employees and trade union representatives and it is clear that the extremely pressurised working conditions are totally unacceptable."

A spokeswoman for the company said: "We can confirm that an internal investigation is under way in Derry/Londonderry as a number of policies and procedures may have been breached by members of staff.

"We are aware that a large number of employees have been affected by this and are keen to conclude the internal investigation as quickly as possible. We cannot comment on the detail of the investigation until it has been completed."

Sky TV has confirmed it is in discussions with Firstsource in Derry over what it calls "allegations of the incorrect processing of some sales".

Firstsource handles customer calls and sells package deals on behalf of Sky.

Tough earning a crust 'chained to desk by phone' 

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph