Around 200 workers employed by third-party suppliers in Northern Ireland are to be impacted by cuts being undertaken by the broadcast and telecoms giant Sky, it has been reported.
Sky is set to cut hundreds of jobs across the UK as the company shifts from satellite broadcasting to delivering TV over the internet, the Financial Times reports.
As a result, it is understood that around 200 jobs at Firstsource in Northern Ireland, which carries out work for Sky, are set to go.
The move by Sky follows significant job losses at broadband rivals Vodafone, which recently announced plans to axe around 11,000 job over the next three years. BT also said this month that up to 55,000 – around 42% of its workforce – would be cut by the end of the decade.
The exact number of job losses at Sky will depend on the outcome of talks with unions and employees, who were informed of the restructuring plans this week. Sky employs around 32,000 people in the UK.
It is understood Sky will either redeploy or hire new workers in growing areas of its business, such as film production.
Sky said: “In recent years we have revolutionised our TV offering — aggregating all the best apps, giving customers easy access to all the shows they love in one place; then launching our new TV platforms, Sky Glass and Sky Stream, as we shift to IP. These changes are transforming what we offer our customers.”
Sky was bought by Comcast for £32bn in 2018 and, since then, has been moving away from satellite TV into other areas like streaming and manufacturing smart TVs.
News of the NI job losses at Firstsource sites in Belfast and Londonderry first emerged on Thursday morning.
SDLP leader Colum Eastwood called for an urgent meeting with Firstsource management when he learned of the news.
“News today that Firstsource will begin a redundancy consultation process which will impact workers in Derry is worrying for employees and their families and has caused unwarranted confusion and distress,” he said.
“I have been in touch with several employees already who are concerned about their future in the organisation in this challenging economic climate.
“Workers in Firstsource ensured the organisation’s continued success here in the city for years, and they deserve fair and proper treatment in this process. Any decisions made by management must be taken in the best interests of the staff involved.
“I have contacted the management of Firstsource requesting an urgent meeting to discuss their plans and their continued commitment to workers in Derry.”
A Firstsource spokesperson said on Thursday that it had started a redundancy consultation process with a number of colleagues at its Belfast and Derry sites.
“The changing priorities of one of our clients, Sky, means they are making proposals to adjust services currently being delivered across both sites,” the spokesperson said.
“Staff impacted have been informed today and as a responsible employer, we are working closely to support them throughout this process.
“Firstsource remains committed to Northern Ireland at both sites as we continue to deliver a range of services for our outsourcing clients.” Belfast Telegraph