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Drip Drip redundancies at Talk Talk – now the flood! January 28, 2010

Posted by alancwu in News.

Staff at Kelvin Close, Warrington, have been issued with 90 days notice of potential redundancy. The threatened redundancies will not just affect staff at Warrington, they will also affect staff in Talk Talk nationally as the company rationalises (that loathsome management euphemism) its workforce.

Talk Talk back office staff were called into a meeting in which it was confirmed that all non customer facing roles, at least those that are not made redundant, will be relocated to Preston and Waterford (Eire).

It is not clear how many redundancies will result from this blitzkrieg, but Carphone Worker has information from a senior management source that 500+ redundancies are likely in the run-up to the demerger.

This all out assault on staff has been dressed up in the usual cliches – “streamlining”, “improved customer service” etc. But the bottom line is loyal workers are facing uncertainty and potential unemployment – and all this as the company revises its profit forecasts upwards for the second time in two months.

What is depressing is the silence of the employee forums on the issue of potential redundancies – Talk Talk staff and their representatives aren’t stupid and the question has been raised time and again, it just hasn’t been answered by management. Until now.

In a related piece of news the same senior management source (cited above) has stated that managers in some areas of Talk Talk have been creating roles, outside the usual recruitment process, for favoured employees in a bid to protect them from the cull – while Carphone Worker applauds management efforts to preserve jobs we would expect such efforts to be fair and open and not just a matter of favouritism. If any Talk Talk employees have any evidence that this practice has occured in their area please contact us in the strictest confidence.

CWU members are urged to contact their site representative, or their local branch, if they are directly affected by this announcement or they have any related concerns. And please feel free to use this site to register messages of support.

If you don’t know who your site reps are or you don’t know your branch number please contact the CWU Organiser for your area:

Midlands & North – Alan Smith 07894 461710 asmith@cwu.org

London & South – Lesley-Anne Ure 07764 656148 laure@cwu.org

Individual sites:

Preston – Kevin Leetion 07894 461712 kleetion@cwu.org

Warrington & Irlam – Alan Smith 07894 461710 asmith@cwu.org

Wednesbury – Neil Singh 07525 298835 nsingh@cwu.org

Northampton – Alan Smith 07894 461710 asmith@cwu.org



1. Clubman - January 28, 2010

Silence and denial and “all options are being considered” ALL LEAD TO THE SAME THING -management disrespect for the workforce that has made the company a success.
IF the management LISTENED to the staff and their opinions the company could DOUBLE the profits. Alas there are managers and directors who think they know better.
The Result = job losses

2. Sophia - January 29, 2010

Well, I am not suprised by this news especially favouritism has always been the order of the day for this company. Poor management has led to the fact that many faithful staff left and the ones remaining are at risk.

I am a clear example of what forced me to leave my job of 26k just to get away from nepotism and favouritism that I faced before handing in my notice at end of August 2009.

It is a really really sad story and especially in this climate..but what I can say to whoever affected be strong, you can be happier somewhere else and maybe ..think about a career change and join education like me…because at first you will feel like it’s the end of the world but trust me you will be a much happier person. trust me, there is life after TalkTalk.

My best regards to my ex-colleagues,let’s just hope whoever deserves justice will get justice.

Good luck

3. simmo - January 29, 2010

Sometimes we need to be grown up and realize there’s a bigger world out there. The big guys in their ivory towers may make my blood boil but they’ve got their issues and we’ve got ours. If they say my job’s over, it’s over. They don’t owe me a job, I’ll just take my experience to another business that wants it. I look at that as an opportunity to expand my experience….

4. WishYouWereHere - January 29, 2010

These redundancies also apply to the small TalkTalk site in Stornoway. For a very small site in a very small community this is a real blow.

5. South Acton - January 29, 2010

Retail group does not tseem to be much better. Outsourced GIS teams that now run by IBM, still have not got much clue how to run the business in CPW.

Even their service desk is hopeless.

6. klp - January 29, 2010

They also affect some people in Stanford House

7. Glenn Slater CWU Central and West Lancs Branch - January 29, 2010

This is typical of the slash and burn tactics of this company, use and abuse. The announcement raises a few questions

1/ before they announced redundancies, the company have to inform the government due to the numbers involved.
2/ Have they elected work place reps.
3/ All those wanting to become a work place rep have the right to time away from their work place to canvas for their election.
4/ Elected reps have a right in law for training to undertake the role of work place reps.
4/ Have they looked at alternative work (same site).
5/ Have they informed those at risk.
6/ Elected reps need to know their rights.

It’s at times like this that individuals should realise they should belong to a union and get good professional advice from fully trained union reps.

8. Anon - January 29, 2010

It really is a sad state of affairs at talk talk now.

Charles has always told people to enjoy themselves and make the work place a fun place to be… I think someone has forgot this.

There is a massive mentality of ‘jobs for the boys’ in this place, especially in specialist support functions.

Can this be proven, can it rubbish, they’re very clever, they advertise the jobs internally and sometimes externally, but either dont mention it or just discount a candidate before they get a chance to present themselves.

Charles I doubt you read these and if you do I am sure sitting in your mansion it don’t really affect you, but just remember one thing, you have wrecked the lives of over 300 people this year. Shame on you Charley.

9. Big Ted - January 30, 2010

Glenn, can I ask about a few of your points please?
1- what is the number that triggers the “inform the govt?”
And, if a company gives notice ( daily) BELOW this trigger number, is that a loop hole that May be being used?
2- Elected Reps. The company “Forum” reps have, as far as I am awre , no voting rights, no right to consultation nor negotiation rights.

I agree the only way to have an independent voice is a union reps committee.

10. anon - January 30, 2010

I work for talktalk and feel my job is at risk and we are all walking a tightrope. The problem is i want out but im stuck because of the recession. Have you tried looking for a job recently? This mickey mouse bully boy outfit is the most horrible company i have ever worked for. Poor management, favourtism, bullying corporate attitude imposed by managers with no people skills! god help us

11. Michael - January 31, 2010

well it looks like someone is already having family issues over this http://twitter.com/talktalkredunda

12. Glenn Slater CWU Central and West Lancs Branch - February 1, 2010

Hi Big Ted

An employer who proposes to dismiss twenty or more employees as redundant at one establishment within a period of 90 days or less has a statutory duty to notify the Secretary of State for Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform. This is so that government departments and agencies and the Jobcentre Plus Rapid Response Service can be alerted and prepared to take any appropriate measures to assist or retrain the employees in question. The same definition of a collective redundancy situation apples as for the consultation obligations, as for loop holes, these are closed at the company’s announcement of the number of job losses.

An employer has a legal duty to consult employee representatives if it is proposing to make 20 or more redundancies. It should also consult individual employees regardless of the number of redundancies. Forum reps are not employee representatives. Employee representatives in this case discuss only redundancies issues and are to be elected by those that have been identified by the company as at risk. Under section 188 of the TURLCA, an employer proposing to make 20 or more employees redundant at one establishment within a 90 day period is legally obliged to provide information to consult “appropriate” representatives. There are strict guidelines as to how these representatives are elected.

Hope this helps.

13. Anon - February 1, 2010

Hope you dont mind me asking you questions on here.

What are the rules when an employer is blatantly guaranteeing the jobs of certain employee’s as they’re classed as ‘key’ members of staff???

Also we have been told that accessing this article in work is gross misconduct and could result in disciplinary action being taken against the employee.

alancwu - February 3, 2010

If a redundancy selection process is fair and open it would not allow favouritism, so it depends on what is meant by “key” workers. If a “key” worker is part of a group of workers with the same job description, and “key” just means they’re mates with a manager then any of that group of workers who are subsequently dismissed might be able to claim unfair dismissal.

This is where a vigilant workforce and an active trade union are crucial in ensuring that processes are fair.

As to being told that accessing this website at work could result in disciplinary action – potentially – it depends what your policy on internet usage says, and accessing any website during work time if it’s not part of the job might lead to disciplinary action. However, if it’s ok for you to access other websites I would be interested to hear your management’s justification for banning Carphone Worker – if in doubt, be careful, and speak to your trade union rep.

Alan Smith – CWU Organiser

14. Tayto - February 2, 2010

I doubt there will be jobs relocated to Waterford like the original post stated. Rather there are going to be redundancies there, up to 55 is the rumour. And because theres no union at Waterford there is no protest at all unfortunately.

15. Milly - February 3, 2010

If jobs are at risk throughout the company and also in Preston, why are they continuing their external recruitment campaign?


It just shows you how little they think about their staff. Old habits die hard as they did the same last time there were job loses.

16. Glenn Slater CWU Central and West Lancs Branch - February 4, 2010

Just been informed that a rumour is circulating in the Preston area that redundancies are about to be announced. The rumour is that the H/R staff will be identified as being at risk. Does this mean that CPW are centralising the H/R department or is it that they are looking to outsource the work? If it is the latter it will create problems as the outside company will try to maximise its profits by advising that every case moves to discipline, this has happened in other companies that have outsourced H/R work.
If this happens what reps have to do (reps should be doing this now)as soon as the meeting opens is to get the discipline manager to explain the roles of each individual in the meeting and to challenge the roles if they are explained wrongly. The concern is the role of the note taker; more often than not the discipline manager asks the note taker if they would like to ask further questions, this should not take place as it is against the ACAS code of practice. Management discipline training does not cover the ACAS code of practice, amazingly at a recent Employment Tribunal that I attended the manager actually admitted that he/she did not know anything about the ACAS code of practice, is it any wonder that they get it wrong so often.

17. Anon - February 14, 2010

Opal / Talk Talk Northampton Office to Close by March 2011.
Some redunancies in March 2010, another group of staff will go in September following the sale of the Ireland & Belgium markets.
The Opal IS director then tells the remaining that their services will no longer be required after March 2011.

18. Glenn Slater CWU Central and West Lancs Branch - February 15, 2010

For information, this was reported in the Lancashire Evening Post.

Hundreds of workers are to flood into a Preston call centre from across the country as part of a huge reshuffle by telecoms giant Carphone Warehouse.

TalkTalk, the group’s internet business, has confirmed it is moving its customer service teams from across the country into its centre at Tulketh Mill in Ashton, and a second site in Waterford in Ireland.

Union officials have voiced fears that the changes will impact the 1,000-strong workforce at Preston, after the group admitted some of its back office staff were doubling up roles following its takeovers of AOL and Tiscali.

A TalkTalk spokesman confirmed the firm is in talks with workers over the changes brought about by the decision to split the internet business from the wider Carphone group.

But he refused to comment on the number of people affected by the changes.

He said: “We are committed to offering our customers the best possible experience and to do this we have streamlined processes, reduced duplication and developed centres of excellence.

“We acquired additional support teams as a result of acquisitions, which has led to duplication of roles across sites and brands.

“We are relocating all support functions to our largest customer service sites in Preston and Waterford. Support employees affected by these changes have been informed and they will receive a letter outlining their options.”

He said that, “where possible”, the group would look to find affected employees alternative jobs within its customer services department.

Michael Parkinson, the Communication Workers’ Union (CWU) representative for the Preston centre, said there were still unanswered questions.

He said: “With a number of jobs coming to Preston, this should be a good thing as it will mean more working here.

“However, the demerger of TalkTalk from the Carphone group leaves a question mark over the future of Carphone workers at the centre.”

CWU organiser Alan Smith said staff offered the chance to move to Preston were in pockets of around 20 people at offices across the country, including Warrington, the West Midlands and Portsmouth.

He said: “We do not know if these changes are the end of it.”

We look forward to recruiting these workers into the CWU.

19. Clubman - February 16, 2010

Alas, I have an example of one manager admitting in private that they had not received any training in man-management and did not know what ACAS was, let alone its best practice.
Sad to think that there are a lot of good managers being “leaned-on” to play hard-ball. Leaned on by who? Higher managers or others with ulterior motives. Bullying and intimidation are rife throughout the company. Most is low level “if you don’t do this – something may happen”.
It reminds me of school, the only difference is the people are older.

20. anon - February 25, 2010

There are more bad times ahead for employees at CPW/TalkTalk. I do not wish to be part of this organisation any longer, as it seems bullying of staff is an acceptable consequence of change. The problem here is bad management of people by managers with little or no people skills. It seems they are being pressured to force people out of the company before the company has to pay for redundancies. This is very very much the case at Kelvin close in warrington, where as a member of their CEO’s Office I am faced with this nightmare every day. Recession = stuck at company = they abuse staff. Simple as that.

21. Donald Murray - March 19, 2010

I Feel sorry for you all as I think that TalkTalk/Tiscali setup is causing more trouble than enough for everybody. I live in Stornoway and jobs here are hard to get. They are getting very bad publicity as it is and they maybe now losing custom. Good luck to you all that may lose their jobs. A member of Unite.

22. dave - August 7, 2010

You people run this company, go on strike and stop whatever it is you have a problem with. Scared not to receive a pay packet. People used to live of the land before all this business man control. You will not die from starvation it’s the way the country have got you believing.

jerome - August 7, 2010

man your so right, come on tt and cw go on strike are shut up and get on with your jobs. do something about it now!

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