The Belfast Trades Council in conjunction with the Communication Workers Union held a protest at the gates of the Ageas call centre.
The profitable call centre Ageas is threatening to cut 200 jobs and move to England. Workers have been joining the Communication Workers Union (CWU) in their droves to fight the cuts. A lunchtime protest was called to show solidarity with workers and to demonstrate union strength.
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To date this company has provided no adequate, honest explanation as to why they are closing their Belfast site.
The argument that the site is economically not viable doesn’t stand up to scrutiny in face of the facts:
– this site is running at a profit for the company
– the UK operations made over £97million last year, a £10 increase on 2013
– articles in local press in Stoke-on-Trent suggest they are planning to extend their operations there and create jobs
In its planning application, Ageas states: “Thanks to the continuing success of the company there is a need to increase employment levels for our existing call centre.”
Local politicians addressed the assembled crowd condemning the job cuts and calling for unity and solidarity.
Ryan McKinney from the Belfast and District Trades Council said the Council would stand shoulder to shoulder with workers.
The company had proposed a consultation process of 90 days byt then cut it to 45 days. Kerry Fleck from the workers union the CWU said it was a threat and that this would be fought.
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