Campaign to save
435 jobs at Virgin Media Liverpool
THE Communication Workers
Union are now campaigning to save 435 jobs at the Virgin Media site,
that is run
by Adecco, at Liverpool’s Albert Dock, after the company announced
its intention to leave Merseyside. Staff have not had a pay rise for
over 6 years and were told of the decision to close the Albert
Dock site after they asked for a pay rise.
Louise Ellman, MP for Liverpool Riverside who met with workers from
the site, is backing the campaign to keep jobs in Liverpool and CWU
is putting proposals to the company for alternative, less expensive
workplaces, which would safeguard skilled work for the 435 staff.
Virgin Media is offering people the option of moving to Swansea or
Manchester, if they want to keep a job.
CWU deputy general secretary Andy Kerr said:- "This is
scandalous behaviour from a household brand which holds the futures
of hundreds of Merseyside families in its grasp. Cold talk of
‘rationalising property’ which is what the company is hiding behind
shows no respect for the employees who have worked for them, been
outsourced to Adecco and gone over 6 years without a pay rise.
Virgin Media has taken an approach similar to the workhouse owner in
‘Oliver’ by deciding to leave Liverpool after low paid staff asked
for more. In the 21st century companies should have more
responsibility to their staff and workers shouldn’t be afraid to ask
for more. If building costs are the main problem then we can
find affordable alternatives which keep the jobs in Liverpool.
Virgin Media knows that offers of jobs in Swansea and Manchester
aren’t realistic, so we want them to show commitment to their
skilled staff in Liverpool and engage over alternatives which
prevent hundreds of people being made redundant."
CWU is concerned about the timing of the announcement, which came as
staff finally decided they had waited long enough for a pay rise and
undertook formal moves to get a pay rise.
The lowest paid workers at Albert Dock were on £12,200, barely
above the minimum wage. Virgin Media cynically raised this to
£13,200, 5 minutes after announcing the site closure, so that few
Dave Fitzgerald, a worker in the Albert Dock site for 3 years,
said:- "I was so shocked when they told us they were closing
our workplace. We were all pretty upset and several people were
distraught, several were crying. We don’t want to give up without a
fight though, many have worked here for years and there’s no chance
of moving to Swansea, I’ve got a family to think of. We really need
Virgin to think again, there must be a way to keep these jobs in
CWU has launched a petition and is actively lobbying local
politicians as well as the company to seek a solution which keeps
jobs in Liverpool. They are asking the public to hep by
signing the petition
CWU say that
Staff were given 90 days notice of the end to jobs in Liverpool and
the site is earmarked to close by April 2012 at the latest.
1 IN 4 MIDDLE
CLASS 50 SOMETHINGS EXPECTS TO WORK PAST 70
A new study by Heartwood
suggests that semi-retirement among wealthier people is becoming an
increasingly necessary and complex life stage, with 24% of middle
class workers aged over 50 delaying retirement until they are at
least 70. 63% expect to enter semi-retirement and 41% are
planning to remain in work for an average of 5 years longer than
they had originally planned. This is a growing trend, as in contrast
only 31% of retired people said they had been semi-retired and on
average they were in semi-retirement for less than 2 years prior to
leaving work for good.
It is expected that this movement will continue over the coming
years, enhanced by the announcement this week that the default
retirement age in the UK has now been fully abolished, making it
easier for people to put off full retirement for longer.
For the majority, this is not
driven by a love of their job but by concerns of their ability to
fund their retirement. When asked why they were delaying full
retirement, 33% of higher-earning semi-retirees said they couldn’t
afford to while 18% blamed the higher cost of living. 20% said they
needed to keep working in order to support their children and 18%
cited the fall in the value of their pension.
Simon Lough, Chief Executive of Heartwood comments:- "Longer
periods of semi-retirement are increasingly becoming the norm
amongst even wealthier people in their fifties and sixties. In many
cases they are being faced with greater demands being placed on
their pension pots, rises in the cost of living and unexpected
financial commitments such as supporting their children for longer
than they originally anticipated. Even compared to a year ago the
number of semi-retired people has grown by 43% and we would expect
this trend to continue as economic pressures force people into
having to generate additional income for longer, making it more
important than ever to start planning as early as possible."
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