Union denies Eircom job cut reports

The Communications Workers Union denies restructuring plans by Eircom could result in 2,000 staff being laid off, but concedes some redundancies are likely.
It is currently examining Eircom’s three-year plan to determine how many jobs might be affected, but says reports over the weekend claiming up to 2,000 staff will go are “complete speculation,” the Irish Times said.
Union representatives met Eircom management yesterday to discuss the firm’s plan, and are now seeking independent financial advice to work out how many jobs must go.
CWU general secretary Steve Fitzpatrick told the Times a comprehensive new strategy was needed to address the troubled telco's perilous financial situation, but maintained any layoffs would have to be voluntary.
On Sunday, the Irish Independent reported the restructuring would see up to 2,000 staff culled.
The CWU said it will next week meet with all interested branch secretaries and partnership co-coordinators to brief them on Eircom's strategy, and plans to hold a delegate conference by September to consider the advice given by the independent advisers.
Eircom hopes to reach a deal with the unions by October.
The operator is struggling under a debt pile of €3.5 billion, which in June became the fifth most expensive debt to insure in the world
It is already running a voluntary redundancy program to cut 1,200 staff, and expects to complete the program by September, some six months ahead of schedule.
The CWU has recently made headlines for threatening strike action at British Telecom and O2 over separate pay disputes.