Anger as UPC considers sackings

Employee representatives are outraged as a cable TV and internet connection provider registered 90 workers with the Labour Market Service (AMS).

Vienna-based UPC confirmed yesterday (Weds) that the staff could be dismissed. The firm argued it was in the middle of a “phase of restructuring”. UPC currently employs 1,000 staff, down from 1,100 last year. The company has come under difficulties as turnover and customer numbers plunged. UPC raked in 338 million Euros last year, down from 367 million Euros in 2007. UPC currently has around 692,000 customers. It had 710,000 in the second quarter of 2010.

The Union of Private Employees (GPA) called a “social plan” presented by UPC to compensate the employees who may face the axe as “unworthy of a future-orientated company”. GPA called for further talks, adding that UPC’s economic condition would not justify any layoffs.

Meanwhile, the number of employed Austrians is on the rise. Around 4.14 million residents of the country had a job in the first three months of this year, 60,200 more than in the same period of 2010. Statistics authority Statistik Austria explained that both the number of people in full-time contracts and those doing part-time soared.

Four per cent of people living in Austria were out of work in June, according to Eurostat. The European Commission’s (EC) research and statistic agency said this percentage figure put Austria ahead of all other European Union (EU) members in this concern. The Netherlands is placed second (4.1 per cent) while Spain kept experiencing immense difficulties (21 per cent).