November 14th: Unite, which represents workers in Virgin Media, today (Thursday) announced that members had unanimously decided to ballot for industrial action. The move follows the company’s decision to issue redundancy notices without having consulted the unions involved either before or after the announcement of a proposed collective redundancy. Unite and Siptu had previously written to the company reminding them of their obligation to engage in a 30-day information and consultation period before issuing notices of redundancy in order to minimise job losses. The company has to date failed to respond to the unions’ letter.
Commenting, Unite Regional Officer Brendan Byrne said:
“Following the decision by Virgin Media to issue notices of redundancy without engaging collectively with the workers through their unions, Unite members held a General Meeting at which they unanimously agreed to ballot for industrial action, up to and including strike action. It is our understanding that Siptu will be adopting a similar approach.
“By failing to respect the mandatory 30-day consultation period, the company is in breach of its legal obligations. Our members have also been shocked to learn that the redundancy package being proposed by the company is inferior to that agreed with unions in 2015.
“No redundancies should be imposed before a full consultation process has been carried with a view to minimizing job losses, as required by law. Furthermore, any redundancy packages following this process must be in line with the agreement reached between unions and the company in 2015.
“The resolution of this dispute lies in the hands of Virgin Media, and we would urge Communications Minister Richard Bruton to intervene, reminding the company of their legal obligations to their workers and urging them to engage with unions as a matter of priority.
“If this matter is not resolved we will be moving swiftly to ballot for industrial action”, Mr Byrne concluded.