DOZENS of redundancy-threatened staff at energy giant npower’s Rainton Bridge call centre could be thrown a lifeline.
The firm revealed plans to cut almost 1,500 jobs nationwide in November, as part a massive restructuring of its customer service activities.
Unions initially believed staff at Rainton Bridge would not be affected, with the restructure seeing npower close centres in Peterlee, Thornaby and Stoke.
But the firm unveiled plans to transfer staff from Peterlee to Rainton Bridge and move 430 Rainton Bridge posts to India.
Now there are fresh hopes that about 40 employees whose jobs are being moved overseas could be given new posts.
An npower spokeswoman confirmed the firm was transferring posts from one of its sites in the Midlands to the North East.
“Following the announcement of our planned restructure, we’re undergoing a period of consultation with our people,” she said.
“Having discussed options with employees in the North East and our Oldbury sites, we now believe around 40 roles currently performed out of Oldbury are likely to be moved up to the North East in future.” The plan to transfer jobs from the Midlands has raised hopes that some of the posts could be filled by Rainton Bridge staff whose jobs are under threat.
Gareth Pickles, npower’s customer service director, said the firm remained loyal to its Rainton Bridge operation. “Our commitment to the North East remains very strong – there will still be around 3,500 people in the region,” he said.
“We are operating in extremely tough times and have had to look at what’s right for the long-term future of the company.”