IS this what you want? - BT workers have had "the carpet pulled out from underneath them during the cost-of-living crisis", Fermanagh and Omagh District have heard. 

Councillors detailed some of the heartbreaking stories that workers are facing, including spouses who work in the building together, families with mortgages, as well as the personal loss felt by those who have spent much of their working life in BT.

It comes ahead of a mass rally to be held in Enniskillen on Saturday afternoon. 

Tuesday (April 9) evening's meeting of the Council  heard from Alliance Party Councillor for Enniskillen, Eddie Roofe, who proposed a Motion for the Council to write to the First Minister, Deputy First Minister, the Secretary of State and the Shadow Secretary of State to request that they use their full powers and authority to safeguard the future of EE's Enniskillen site.

Impartial Reporter: Councillor Eddie Roofe, AllianceCouncillor Eddie Roofe, Alliance (Image: John McVitty)

Councillor Roofe described how the "loyal and hardworking staff" have been left "devastated" following the announcement from EE in February.
"We must leave no stone unturned in our bid to save these jobs", he told the chamber. 
Councillor Adam Gannon, SDLP, seconded the Motion and said "political parties are unified in working for the staff of BT".Impartial Reporter:

He said: "I want to ensure everyone listening that everyone here, and everyone outside of here - including our MLAs and MP for the constituency - will be working together collaboratively to ensure a positive result.”

He and others discussed the economic impact that will face both Enniskillen town, the county of Fermanagh and indeed the entire Fermanagh and Omagh district should the jobs be lost.

Councillor Gannon highlighted the personal cost of such job losses, and said: “At the heart of this are 300 people - 300 people and their families plunged into uncertainty.

“We can’t forget they are the people who need to be done right by, by BT and EE.”

The Motion was supported and co-signed in writing by Enniskillen councillors from all the other political parties on the Council – Councillor Dermot Browne, Sinn Féin; Councillor Roy Crawford, Ulster Unionist; and Councillor Keith Elliott, Democratic Unionist Party, who voiced their support in the Chamber.

Councillor Browne said: “I think we can all agree that the way the staff at the Enniskillen site have been treated by BT is nothing short of appalling.”

Impartial Reporter: Councillor Dermot Browne, Sinn FéinCouncillor Dermot Browne, Sinn Féin (Image: John McVitty)

Referencing the Voluntary Paid Leavers (VPL) scheme offered by BT, Councillor Browne claimed: “We do know that a certain number of those who have signed up have done so out of fear.”

He later added: “We also must be realistic - BT will not save these jobs out of the goodness of their heart.”

Councillor Elliott urged the community to come together in support of the BT workers: “We are in the hands of BT unfortunately, and they will do whatever they want to do.

"As a council and a community, all we can do is come together, take them on, and fight them.”

Impartial Reporter: Councillor Keith Elliott, DUPCouncillor Keith Elliott, DUP (Image: John McVitty)

Councillor Crawford said: “We need to urge the ministers to do everything in their power to reverse the decision made by BT/EE regarding the closure of the BT centre in Enniskillen, and the subsequent loss of 300 jobs.Impartial Reporter: Councillor Roy Crawford, UUP.Councillor Roy Crawford, UUP. (Image: John McVitty)

“It is vital we stand together on the issue, and ensure the best outcome for all involved.”

Wrapping up the Motion, Councillor Roofe said: “ I want to give assurance to the staff of BT that the Council will be working hard to support them in whatever capacity we can.”

The Motion passed unanimously.