Carphone Warehouse employees must be protected and supported

21 April 2021

Labour enterprise and education spokesperson Aodhán Ó Ríordáin TD has called on Government to engage with staff and unions affected by today’s announcement by Carphone Warehouse. The loss of 486 times at such a difficult time for workers and the economy is hugely worrying for communities up and down the country. Deputy Ó Ríordáin called on Government to support these workers and seek to re-employ them within their community where possible.

Deputy Ó Ríordáin said:

“Today my thoughts are with the staff and families affected by Carphone Warehouses’ decision. This is an extremely upsetting day for the 486 families affected by this decision to end operations in Ireland. The Government and Minister must step in now and work with the company and unions to ensure that these workers are protected and receive full redundancy and other associated entitlements.

“This is a huge blow for the staff. There is no good time to lose your job but in a labour landscape with record unemployment figures, the timing of this decision could not be worse. The immediate focus should be to support the employees who are going to lose their jobs. Government must intervene and ensure that there are education and training opportunities for the workers affected.

“Unemployment is out of control in this country. The projected unemployment rate of 16.25% this year and 8.25% in 2022 is really concerning and the Government seems hell bent on ignoring calls for targeted and focused training to enable people to upskill and keep focused on projects while the economy remains closed.

“Each job lost today impacts not only the individual person but their dependents and their community. The severe impact of the pandemic on main street jobs and businesses illustrates the need for targeted State supports for all people currently unemployed to ensure that the skills, knowledge and experience remains in the economy post-Covid. Otherwise sectors like retail, hospitality, entertainment and the arts will not have a shot at survival.

“This news comes as the Dáil debates the future of mental health in this country which has been ignored throughout the pandemic. The Government continue to throw money at mental health services but that fundamentally misses the point. People’s mental health is suffering because they have no help or hope. Rather than paying lip service to mental health, Government needs to provide a step plan to get people back to work in fair jobs once the economy reopens.

“The young people of Ireland have been disproportionately impacted by unemployment in the past year. Any country with a youth unemployment rate of 56% needs to have that at the top of their agenda. I am desperately concerned that any of our young people who have remained in Ireland until now will look outside this country for better opportunities not just in terms of employment, but in terms of lifestyle. Indeed the news of further job losses within the economy will not inspire faith in the State for workers young and old.

“This is a hugely upsetting day for staff of Carphone Warehouse and their families and I call on Government to ensure supports are in place to protect these workers. They must be supported with re-employment within their communities.”

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