Limerick-headquartered company's staff put on 'protective notice'

Donal O'Regan

Reporter:

Donal O'Regan

Email:

donal.oregan@limerickleader.ie

Ribbon cutting: opening the new viagogo operations plant were Ciara Palache, Barry O'Dowd, Ministers Richard Bruton and Jan O'Sullivan, Oliver Wheeler, Edward Parkinson and Geraldine Black. Picture: P

Viagogo jobs announcement back in 2015 Picture: Press 22

VIAGOGO has confirmed to the Leader this Friday that staff in Limerick have been put on protective notice for the next 30 days.

The global online platform for live sport, music and entertainment tickets has its European headquarters in Castletroy. 

A Viagogo spokesperson said that "unfortunately due to the global Covid-19 pandemic, our business has been one of many temporarily impacted by the postponement and cancellation of events worldwide". It employs around 170 locally.

"To adapt to the challenges we face, we have notified staff in our customer service centre in Limerick that they have been put on protective notice for the next 30 days, which could result in a number of employees being asked to move to a part-time work schedule or requested to take temporary leave.

"The result of this unfortunate and uncertain environment, is that some redundancies may occur but we have not decided or acted upon this, and naturally it will be a last resort. Our customer service centre in Limerick and its staff remain a vital part of the Viagogo Group of companies, and we do not make any of these decisions lightly," said the spokesperson.

The Leader understands that Viagogo has a long-term lease on an attached building in Castletroy, very much see their future in Limerick and plan on growing the business here once the Covid-19 crisis has passed. 

The contents of an "important notice to staff" sent to Viagogo employees on Thursday, April 2, has been seen by the Limerick Leader.

"Today, VGL Support Services Ireland Ltd announced that after careful consideration it intends to enter into a 30 day consultation process to reduce our employee numbers. We understand this is very difficult news to hear and wanted to communicate with employees at the earliest point possible," it said.

It went on to say: "The degree of impact on the business will depend on the severity and length of disruption."

Viagogo said the decision is not a reflection of their "dedicated employees".

"Rather the decision is a consequence of the current unprecedented facing the company, and the rest of the world, regarding the Covid-19 pandemic. We have no choice but to reduce staffing levels at this time," it stated.

A Viagogo employee said they were invited to an online meeting were they were informed that the company would "go into a consultation period and that all our jobs were at risk".

"They mentioned reducing staff members count and that the few left would work on reduced hours. This was a massive hit for all of us. Most of us have a family to care for!

"While it is understandable that the company may be in a delicate moment due to the outbreak, we think that there are other alternatives to this as many other companies are doing to avoid this many people to be redundant," said the employee.

They continued: "We are already working from home since March and most colleagues, myself included, would be willing to be laid-off for a while or work reduced hours in exchange for long-therm stability. We believe that this can impact very negatively, not only our families, but also the local economy too."