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Enniskillen workers fear for jobs after BT cut centres

Employees at BT’s Enniskillen office fear for their jobs after the company announced plans to close 270 offices. 
BT Enniskillen Contact Centre on Broadmeadow Place is one of the biggest employers in the county with around 330 people employed. 
Last week, BT announced that more than 300  office locations across the UK will be consolidated to around 30, with the Belfast office confirmed as a key location. The future of the Enniskillen centre is unclear as the office was not named in the first announcement of key locations.  
The centre has been in operation in Enniskillen for 26 years and supports BT’s residential customers with billing and repair queries relating to their telephone line, broadband or TV. 
David Kennedy of CWU, the communications union, said the union is concerned that a move from 300 to 30 locations is a ‘huge logistical challenge.’
“We are in discussions with the company and our major focus is on job security. We have made it clear to BT that we will not accept any compulsory redundancies. At a conference in April this year, we stated that the branches would ballot our members on industrial action if they tried to force this upon our members. 
“We are totally opposed to any attempts to reduce the size of the workforce or to introduce compulsory reduces. People in Enniskillen are fearful for their jobs, and are understandably worried.”
The Herald has learned that BT are recruiting around 50 people in Enniskillen over the summer, and Mr Kennedy said the company is constantly recruiting.
“There is a churn rate in call centres. People start and leave within months. BT would employ more people in Enniskillen but the building is suitable for around 260 people on a daily basis and there is approximately 350 people working there. 
“Fermanagh is a hugely successful workforce with some of them there for 30 plus years so we are against any attempts to abuse people’s loyalty and we will not stand for it,” Mr Kennedy added.
Local councillor Donal O’Cofaigh added that ‘there is a need for reassurances for the workforce around their jobs and the long term commitment of BT to the Enniskillen site.’
A BT spokeswoman told the Herald there were no plans to close the Enniskillen centre at the present time. They added while only a number of centres had so far been confirmed as being kept open, more would be added to this list. They did not confirm if Ennsikillen would be among those to be included.
“We have announced the first eight key locations of a UK-wide programme that will revitalise our UK workspaces and create modern, future-fit buildings we can be proud of. There will be more locations and we’re still working on finalising those,” they said.
“Our workspaces will be better for our people, better for our business, and better for our customers. In addition to increasing efficiency and productivity across the business, the programme will ultimately improve our ability to better serve our customers and improve customer experience.
“There are no closures being proposed in this announcement.”
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The Fermanagh Herald is published by North West of Ireland Printing & Publishing Company Limited, trading as North-West News Group.
Registered in Northern Ireland, No. R0000576. 28 Belmore Street, Enniskillen, County Fermanagh, Northern Ireland, BT74 6AA