A WEARSIDE MP is calling on the Government to provide support for hundreds of call centre workers who face losing their jobs.
Energy giant npower announced it is moving 430 backroom roles from its Rainton Bridge call centre to India as part of a massive restructuring which will also see it close offices in Peterlee, Thornaby and Stoke.
Now, Houghton and Sunderland South MP Bridget Phillipson, whose constituency covers the centre, has written to Business Secretary Vince Cable asking for guarantees that staff will not be forgotten.
“As you may be aware, npower have announced that they are proposing to restructure their customer service operation, subject to consultation,” she wrote.
“This restructure is expected to make around 430 of its employees redundant from the Rainton Bridge site in my constituency.
“It is vital that those affected receive as much support as possible. I would be grateful if you could let me know what action the Government is proposing to take.”
Npower’s restructuring will see its Tees House office in Peterlee close, and ownership of Wear House transfer to contact services firm Capita. About 110 staff will also transfer to Capita and some 630 will switch to Rainton Bridge.
About 500 people employed at the Thornaby office will be offered positions elsewhere, mainly at Rainton Bridge. Npower is starting a 60-day consultation programme with the 430 staff whose jobs are under threat.
Union leaders hope to have a clearer idea of exactly which jobs are under threat after they meet with management on Monday.
Npower says it remains committed to the region, despite the plan to ship hundreds of jobs overseas.
Customer service director Gareth Pickles said: “Our commitment to the North East remains very strong.
“There will still be around three and a half thousand people in the region helping npower customers every day.”