Wearside npower staff wait to learn where jobs axe will fall

Npower's Rainton Bridge offices, in Houghton
Npower's Rainton Bridge offices, in Houghton
Have your say

Workers and union bosses are hoping npower’s Wearside call centre will escape the worst of the firm’s 2,400 job cuts.

The energy giant said it would be looking to reduce its 11,500 workforce nationally, through a mix of those who work directly and indirectly for npower.

Npower has said it does not have specific plans for any of its sites, but confirmed the North East is set to be one of the firm’s main areas of business focus.

A spokeswoman said: “npower is moving to a model where we focus on three regional “hubs” i.e. areas which are of most geographical importance to us. These will be the North East, Yorkshire and the West Midlands.”

GMB spokesman Tom Allison condemned the way in which the news had been handled and said it was still unclear where the axe would fall.

“We have not been provided with any of the details,” he said. “We don’t know where any of this will impact.

“We have a substantial number of employees in the Northern region– we have 2,200 in Houghton but we also have members in Leeds and at npower client companies in Peterlee.

“News of these job losses broke on Mothering Sunday and caused a lot of anxiety to GMB members. We don’t know where that figure came from but it was 96 per cent accurate to what was really happening.”

Houghton and Sunderland South MP Bridget Phillipson, whose constituency covers the centre, said she had been assured jobs were safe: “Following speculation about major job losses, I spoke directly with senior management at the firm,” she said.

“I received assurances that there are no planned redundancies at Rainton Bridge, and npower remains fully committed to the site.”

An npower worker, who did not wish to be named, said staff had been assured the Rainton Bridge centre would be protected from the brunt of the cuts.

“We were briefed yesterday that there were not going to be any redundances in the North East,” he said.

“We were really relieved.”