I will not be gagged by Talk Talk – Prendergast

Labour MEP Phil Prendergast has said she will not be gagged, after receiving an implicit threat of legal action from Talk Talk.

Ms Prendergast received a letter from the company’s head of human resources Nigel Sullivan accusing her of “negligent misstatement” after she raised the Talk Talk’s plan to close its Waterford call centre in the
European Parliament two weeks’ ago.

Writing on her blog today, Ms Prendergast said: “Through this letter, Talk Talk has exposed itself as a corporate bully hostile to democracy. Trying to prevent a public representative from raising an issue of widespread concern in parliament is another low for a company that has treated its loyal Waterford workforce in an appalling way.

“It’s all the more astonishing, considering the husband of the company’s CEO is a minister in the UK government.
“There was widespread shock and condemnation at the speed with which the company is trying to close its call centre. I simply asked EU Commissioner Laszlo Andor in parliament to examine whether the company’s actions were
in line with EU law. For this, I get thinly veiled threats just for doing my job and using the European Parliament for its intended purpose.

“Talk Talk has shown itself to be not just a corporate bully but a corporate hypocrite too. Just last May, the company baldly stated that the British High Court was wrong in its interpretation of EU law.
“By Talk Talk’s reckoning, it is entitled to make this type of statement about a High Court judgment but when I simply raise a question over its compliance with an EU directive but make no accusation, it sees fit to threaten me.

“The Irish public know Talk Talk stands for double talk but now we know it stands for double standards too. They should have the courage to stand over their position in public rather than try to hide behind thinly veiled threats.

“If the company is to salvage something from the wreckage of this corporate image car crash, it must offer its   Waterford workforce exceptional and unprecedented redundancy terms and make a considerable contribution to the community.”

Ms Prendergast has published the correspondence on her blog at philprendergast.ie/phils_blog.

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