Call centre dispute continues

The First Source building at Springtown Industrial Estate. DER0115MC008
The First Source building at Springtown Industrial Estate. DER0115MC008

Workers at Firstsource have now been informed in writing by the company of their suspensions, the Journal understands.

It’s understood those employees affected by the suspensions over alleged misselling have, in recent days, received registered letters formally notifying them of their suspensions.

The development comes over a week after many employees claimed they had first learned about being suspended from staff rotas and via their computers.

A source close to the company said it’s hoped the investigation into the reasons behind the suspensions will be concluded soon.

Meanwhile, the Derry Trades Council has confirmed that an official letter has been written to management at Firstsource urging them to work with local trade unions.

Liam Gallagher, Secretary of the Derry Trades Council, said: “We have formally written to the company asking them to engage with ourselves. We did state in the letter that we are absolutely committed to keeping the work and the contract for that work in Derry. All of us have a responsibility to that end. But we also have a responsibility to protect the workers.”

The dispute is believed to be centred around how packages at Firstsource for one of its main customers, SKY tv, were sold.

Last week, around 50 workers from Firstsource attended a Derry Trades Council meeting as the controversy surrounding the suspension of employees continued. Employees were given a chance to address the meeting which was attended by local trade unionists and elected representatives.

One suspended worker said: “All we did was what we were told. We were told that if we didn’t do that we would be taken to HR. So we did. Then of course we were taken to HR anyway, and now we find ourselves suspended. It’s terrible. All of us are trying to earn money to pay our bills and raise our families.”

Speaking at the meeting, Liam Gallagher said: “Lessons must be learnt from the situation at Firstsource in terms of the current suspensions hanging over workers and the way in which the situation has been handled by the company. We will not abandon these workers and will work to establish their rights and organise resources to defend any worker who might be disciplined arising from the current suspensions.”