Up to 200 redundancies being sought by Firstsource
Political leaders in Derry have been meeting with management this afternoon after the company launched the process at its Northland Road call centre and in Belfast.
Sources have told the ‘Journal’ up to 200 redundancies are being sought at Northland Road as a result of changes to services being delivered for Firstsource customer, Sky, at its sites in Derry and Belfast.
Foyle MP Colum Eastwood said: “News today that Firstsource will begin a redundancy consultation process which will impact workers in Derry is worrying for employees and their families and has caused unwarranted confusion and distress.”
The SDLP leader acknowledged how the workers at the multi-national outsourcing firm had ensured the organisation's success in the city for many years.
Sinn Féin MLA Pádraig Delargy said: “This has created huge uncertainty for workers and their families today who are worried about what the future holds. Firstsource currently employs hundreds of staff across the city, and any job losses at this site will be a blow to the local economy.”
DUP MLA Gary Middleton said: “This has created uncertainty and worry amongst staff.”
After meeting with Firstsource management Mr. Middleton said he had been told 200 staff at Springtown, 100 in Belfast and 200 homeworkers will be affected. The remaining 370 staff at Northland Road will not be impacted, he said.
People Before Profit Councillor Shaun Harkin said the ‘proposed redundancies at Firstsource call centre are extremely worrying’ and encouraged Firstsource workers to ‘know their rights to get in touch with their trade union and the Derry Call Centre Campaign’.
A spokesperson for Firstsource confirmed it had commenced a redundancy consultation process with ‘a number of colleagues at its Belfast and Derry/Londonderry sites’.
"The changing priorities of one of our clients, Sky, means they are making proposals to adjust services currently being delivered across both sites.
“Staff impacted have been informed today and as a responsible employer, we are working closely to support them throughout this process.
"Firstsource remains committed to Northern Ireland at both sites as we continue to deliver a range of services for our outsourcing clients.”
The company told the ‘Journal’ it was unable to give exact numbers as it was engaged in a process but confirmed the redundancies will be compulsory.
Firstsource also told this paper that reports that it had lost its contract with Sky were not accurate and that it continues to work with this customer.
Asked if it had any plans to close its Derry centre, a spokesperson said: “Firstsource is committed to NI at its sites in Belfast and Derry and they will continue serve clients in financial services, telecoms, media, and utilities.”
Firstsource has had a presence in Derry for the past two decades and employs hundreds of staff at its centres in Derry and Belfast.