Sunderland MP Bridget Phillipson seeks urgent meeting with the Government over 2,000 npower jobs fears
An MP is seeking an urgent meeting with government ministers over the future of around 2,000 call centre jobs.
Bridget Phillipson, Labour MP for Houghton and Sunderland South, has made her request in the House of Commons following energy firm npower’s announcement late last year that 4,500 jobs were expected to be lost across the UK as part of a “restructuring programme”.
While the locations for the cuts have still to confirmed, the Rainton Bridge site, near Houghton, where around 2,000 people are employed, is expected to be one of the company’s sites affected.
Ms Phillipson described the announcement as “terrible news” for local people on Thursday and called for a meeting with government ministers to push for additional support for npower workers.
In response, Commons leader Jacob-Rees Mogg praised Ms Phillipson for raising the issue and promised to do “what I can to facilitate this meeting with an appropriate minister” .
Following her question on Thursday, Ms Phillipson commented: “npower’s announcement late last year was devastating news for our community and the wider North East.
“I know from meeting staff in December last year that there is great concern about what the future holds for them.
“I have been in contact with senior management about what they can do to support employees at this difficult time.
“But with so many local people set to be affected, it’s vital that Government plays its part.
“That’s why today in Parliament I pressed for a meeting with the Government, in order to make sure all possible resources are being made available to npower workers.
“I was pleased the minister indicated his willingness to arrange a meeting and in the weeks ahead I will be holding the Government to its word.
“npower’s decision will have a huge impact across our community. We must get the support we deserve.”
Johannes Teyssen, chief executive of npower's owner, E.ON, said at the time: "The UK market is currently particularly challenging. We've emphasised repeatedly that we'll take all necessary action to return our business there to consistent profitability.”