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Tuesday, 30 April, 2002, 17:51 GMT 18:51 UK
Workers 'confused and angry'
Screen grab of ITV Digital
Message telling viewers the service has stopped
Staff at the west Wales call centre used by ITV Digital have spoken of the confusion inside the building as news of the 900 job losses at the site emerged.

Computers at the call centre went down as workers began sending out emails reporting how they had been told they were to be laid off.

Call centre workers leaving work
Despondent workers leaving Pembroke Dock

But many staff quickly resorted to text messages to tell family and friends the news.

They were angry that they had been left looking for new employment in one of Wales's biggest jobs black spots.

Marie Tabor, who works at the Pembroke Dock site as a customer service representative, said the job cuts would have a devastating effect on the community.

"It will have a big impact. So many people work there - mother and sons - whole families are employed there.

"I can find another job, but I know a lot of people won't be able to," she said.

The Cleddau Bridge call centre
The call centre put 250,000 into the west Wales economy each week

Ms Tabor, 19, who has worked at the site since September, was not there today, but said she heard the news from a friend.

She added: "We thought we would have a week's notice, but now I think they're just going to pull the plug and not let us work the rest of the week."

Another worker Lee Strikeberger said: " "Its confusion in there - the computers are down and everybody is watching the news to see what's going on."

"This is the main employer in this area. The job centres are going to be flooded so they won't be too happy."

Speaking outside the building, employee Libby Hall said: "I didn't know what was going to happen.

Call centre worker James Green
James Green blames ITV Digital

"I was off today but was sent a text message by a friend which said 'come in we are being made redundant'.

"We haven't been told much and the mood is very sombre.

"I don't know what to do for the future there is nothing else to look for around here."

Colleague James Green, 18, said: "We were given a piece of paper with phone numbers of other call centres on them and were advised to call them to see if they had any jobs.

"I blame ITV Digital."

Customer service worker Lee Streitberger said: "We were told not to come in tomorrow so basically it sounds like the jobs are definitely going.

"Everybody is sitting and waiting to hear the full news.

Call centre worker Lauren Richardson
Future uncertain for Lauren Richardson

"It seems very confusing. Everyone was watching the news to see what's going on. Nobody knows what to do.

"The computers are all down at the moment so there's no calls coming in.

"This is the main employer in this area. The job centres are going to be flooded."

Lauren Richardson said she was disappointed to be told about the lay-off.

She said: "It's good money really. It's really hard to find another job in this area.

"Full-time work"

"I looked for another job in Haverfordwest and this is the only place you can get full-time work.

"Hopefully someone else will come here."

The administrators of ITV Digital have confirmed they will close the pay television operation of the company from this evening.

Pembrokeshire councillor John Davies said: "It is a sad day, but the issue of uncertainty can be put behind us and we are optimistic for the future.

"We will work for the benefit of the 900 employees here, who will hopefully be re-engaged in employment."

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