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Issue:- 03 November  2011

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 will benefit.  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 Liverpool."

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 online.   The 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.


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."


WIN your very own parking space at Grange and Pyramids Shopping Centre for a whole year!   No more struggling to find a parking space close to the entrance or big enough for your car, there will always be a reserved spot just for you.  The competition is free to enter and will run from November, the winner will be picked on Monday, 19 December 2011, and be awarded their own roped off parking space, close to the entrance and free to use.  Derek Millar Commercial Director at the Grange and Pyramids said:- "Initially we thought the competition was a bit a fun, but actually it’s a really good prize as everyone knows how finding a suitable parking space on a busy day can prove difficult. The VIP parking bay will be as accessible to the Shopping Centre as possible and will be clearly marked for the winner."  A reserved parking space will prove invaluable for any last minute Christmas shopping and when the January sales start, so this prize is literally priceless.  To enter just pop along to the Shopping Centre and fill in a form, entries are restricted to one per person per day.  For more details please go to:-

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