WORKERS were left “in tears” after bosses moved their jobs to India and announced plans to relocate them into call centres.
Up to 200 members of staff from npower in Peterlee have been told their positions in the company have changed and their current roles moved thousands of miles away.
The decision means those working in the customer “letter-writing” and “email response” side of the energy business have been told they will be relocated into the call-centre division, which has left some workers upset and angry.
One employee, who contacted us but asked not to be named, said: “We were all told what was happening on Friday and it’s come as a big blow.
“People here are very proud of what they do and work hard to make it successful, but now we’ve suddenly been told we are no longer needed and we have to move into the call centres.”
The team, which answers customers’ letters and emails, is based at Tees House in Peterlee.
The employee added: “We’ve got people here who moved from the call centre side of things because they didn’t like it or it caused problems with their health.
“There were people in tears when the company told us what was happening.
“In this type of job market, though, not many of us can afford to just pack up and leave.
“I feel like I’ve been left with no choice.”
Employees and bosses are now working with the GMB in a bid to iron out the concerns.
Joan Anderson, from the GMB and representing the workers, said: “We understand that by moving the work to India, npower expect to make pay savings of about 60 per cent.
“We realise jobs are not being lost, but we are concerned that many of the workers have no experience working in telesales and are suddenly going to be in an environment they are not used to and don’t want to work in.”
Npower, which also has a site at Rainton Bridge, said the changes were the result of increasing demand on the contact-centre side of the business.
A spokesman added: “We are aiming to be number one in customer experience by 2015, and we are working to put our customers at the heart of everything we do.
“At the moment, our customer service teams are experiencing really high volumes of calls and correspondence and so we’ve decided to ask one of our existing partners to help us handle customer letters and emails.
“This will free up almost 200 employees, who’ll then be able to help take more calls from our customers.
“The partner we’re using for this administrative work will be handling it off shore – and will start doing it from July.”