Mike Hedges asks Assembly Minister for update on Welsh Government Support for Virgin Call Centre Staff.

Mike Hedges asks Assembly Minister for update on Welsh Government Support for Virgin Call Centre Staff.

Speaking after Questions to the Leader of the House, Mike Hedges AM for Swansea East said….. I intend keeping the pressure on both the companies and the Welsh Government as part of my plan to support staff at the centre who are at risk of losing their jobs. I am pleased to hear the Welsh Government are assisting with a counter proposal and that they are supporting the non-call centre operational staff. It is important to remember these 80 people who all provide vital support which enables the facility to run smoothly.
Mike Hedges AM – I wish to return again to the threat of closure by Virgin Media of their facility in Swansea. Can I firstly ask for an update on the Welsh Government support for the main submission to try and save the whole site and the call Centre agents, based on their quality and skills? Secondly, can I ask for an update on support for the non-call-Centre operational staff, of which there are about 80, who are putting a proposal for an alternative site locally or an expansion of other sites in south Wales?136

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Julie James – Thank you for that. The Member is continuing to show his concern for the large number of people who are under threat of redundancy in his constituency and in the Swansea area in general. The Cabinet Secretary for Economy and Transport met with Virgin Media on 14 June to further discuss the plans for closure and the reasons behind the decision, and to offer what support we can to help reverse that decision. The consultation period commenced on 23 May, and it will run for a minimum of 45 days. We are assisting with a counterproposal from the employer’s representatives aimed at keeping the site open, and we’re awaiting the outcome of that consultation. Should the plans for closure continue after that consultation, the taskforce will be ready to support affected staff, and that includes discussions with any particular groups of staff who have a specific proposal for parts of the business to be self-standing here in Wales.