Some of the 300 GlobeTech workers in Cork, who lost their jobs when Apple pulled the plug on the controversial Siri listening operation, were sent a letter giving them just two weeks’ notice to leave the country.
Following the incident, Fine Gael Senator Colm Burke warned that non-EU workers will be reluctant to come to Cork because weak employment laws could leave them vulnerable to being sacked and forced to return home.
Globetech contracted staff to listen to and grade recordings from the Apple voice assistant, Siri. The workers were stood down earlier this month when Apple halted the listening project amid claims that people’s privacy had been violated.
One of Globetech’s workers, now jobless, said he felt lost when he was told he was being let go.
“We were on paid leave, nobody was really expecting to be fired,” the worker said.
“They kept saying that the reason for us to stay at home was a technical issue, even though in the meantime Apple was reporting that they had stopped the project on purpose.”
The former GlobeTech contractor added: “Myself like many others came from different countries and continents to Cork just for this job. Losing it all of a sudden was a terrible feeling.
“I am disappointed by the fact that my company didn’t do anything to help us with new employment.
“I am also disappointed that there wasn’t any help from the Government. I mean, we moved from our countries to Cork because Apple is here.”