Every effort must be made to safeguard Vodafone jobs

Fine Gael Deputy, Mary Mitchell O’Connor, has today (Friday) joined her Party colleagues in calling on the Communications Minister, Pat Rabbitte to do all in his power to ensure that the 300 Vodafone jobs that are at risk of being lost to Newry are retained in the State.

Deputy Mitchell O’Connor went on to say that the meeting that is set to take place next week between the Communications Minister and the CEO of Vodafone, Mr Jeroen Hoencamp, presents the perfect opportunity for the case to be made for retaining the jobs in Dublin and Dundalk.

“It is of great concern to me that there is a very real threat to 300 Vodafone jobs which provide customer care services at Leopardstown in Dublin and in Dundalk. This is on the back of 140 jobs lost at the company last May when the decision was taken to move call centres from Ireland to Egypt and India.

“Ireland is at a critical stage of rebuilding its economy and encouraging inward investment. Confidence is growing and we have seen a significant number of foreign companies choosing Ireland as their preferred destination for business development. Only yesterday, we had the announcement of a €200 million expansion of the Amgen plant in Dun Laoghaire after just a year in business.

“This move by Vodafone flies in the face of what every individual in the country is attempting to do; get Ireland Inc. back up and in business. Assiduous attempts are being made on all sides to undo the damage inflicted on us in recent years and to get our people back to work. It has not escaped my attention that people are more conscientious in buying Irish and in supporting shops in their local economy in an effort to create and retain jobs. I am seriously disheartened by Vodafone’s plans in this regard.

“The Minster for Communication’s commitment to meet with the CEO of Vodafone next week signals some light in what is a dark situation for the employees whose jobs are at risk. I am hopeful that a satisfactory conclusion can be arrived at and that ultimately the jobs in Dublin and Dundalk will be retained.”

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