Eir should reassure workers they won’t face discipline for following law - union

Company was chastised in court for failure to acknowledge customer complaints

Eir must clarify and provide assurances to workers after it was revealed in a court case that staff has been warned they could be disciplined for adhering to statutory regulations governing customer complaints, the Communication Workers Union has said.

In a Dublin District Court case taken by ComReg, Eir and its parent company, Eircom, pleaded guilty to multiple breaches of the law over its failure to acknowledge customer complaints and provide responses within 10 working days, among other issues.

At the hearing, ComReg produced an Eir training manual which, the watchdog said, warned employees they would face disciplinary proceedings if following laws covering customer complaints.

Updates to Eir’s code of practice for complaints in January meant customers could not complain by calling its published customer care number. The training manual further barred staff from giving out the separate complaints number.


Sean McDonagh, CWU general secretary, told RTÉ radio’s Morning Ireland that no person and no company was above the law.

“My responsibility as general secretary is to make sure that their processes and procedures are applied to members,” he said.

“The union will not tolerate or countenance in any shape or form action taken by any company to take disciplinary action for people in such situations, I’d have to say I don’t have any reports that we’ve been asked to make any representation.

“But nonetheless, because of what has happened and because of the decision by the courts, we have written seeking assurances from the senior management team, around this that they would clarify to staff and apologise to staff, as suggested by the judge. And we’ve also requested a review of the training manual referred to in that decision.”

Vivienne Clarke

Vivienne Clarke is a reporter

Conor Pope

Conor Pope

Conor Pope is Consumer Affairs Correspondent, Pricewatch Editor and cohost of the In the News podcast