MIKE HEDGES AM QUESTIONS WELSH GOVERNMENT BUSINESS MINISTER ON VIRGIN MEDIA CLOSURE

MIKE HEDGES AM QUESTIONS WELSH GOVERNMENT BUSINESS MINISTER ON VIRGIN MEDIA CLOSURE

Mike Hedges said… ‘It is a good that the Welsh Government remains committing to providing support for workers of Virgin Media. This support may be vital if a counterproposal is to be successful’ I am also grateful for comments relating to keeping Assembly Members informed over the recess of any developments during recess. Assembly members will be working through the recess and will be on hand to help if we possibly can.’

Mike Hedges – As you know, leader of the house, in the first week of May this year, Virgin Media announced 772 job cuts at its Swansea call centre, which it proposed to close, causing serious concerns to many of my constituents and many of yours. The Welsh Government, since then, have been involved in supporting staff working in Virgin Media, and all I’ve heard are good things from the people working there about the support they’ve had from the Welsh Government and Welsh Government officials. But can the leader of the house provide an update on the progress being made as of now? And will the leader of the house be able to keep us informed if anything does happen in either the last couple of weeks of July, August, or during early September? I’m sure that a number of other Members are interested. Some are Government Ministers and can’t ask questions on this, but they also represent constituents who work there. Approximately 800 people is bound to cover a far larger area than Swansea East.115

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Julie James – Yes, indeed. The Member is quite right, Llywydd. Obviously, Members of my own constituency are also covered, just to make sure the Assembly is aware, and I know other Government members have constituency interest in that area. We are in close touch with Virgin Media. We are continuing with our plans for the taskforce to be ready to support any affected staff. We have done what we can to help reverse the decision by assisting the in-house staff association, Voice, in preparing a counterproposal. We are prepared to assist with any proposal that maintains the skills and the jobs in the Swansea area and, certainly, Llywydd, I will undertake to ensure that Members are kept updated of any change to that during the recess period