Energy giant npower has confirmed plans to cut 1,460 jobs under 'restructuring' of its customer service activities, including outsourcing work to India.
The firm, owned by German company RWE, said it aimed to deliver a more "efficient, flexible and improved customer experience". Roughly translated into reality speak this means "we are going to make even more money at the expense of British workers and consumers".
Work will be outsourced to Capita and Tata Consultancy Services (TCS).
Npower said its customers would continue to be served on the phone by people based in UK call centres, with back-office functions outsourced to India. Much of npower's customer facing work will be outsourced to Capita, affecting 540 employees.
Npower's offices in Stoke on Trent will close, affecting about 550 employees, and one of three offices in Oldbury will close, making 400 workers redundant.
There will also be a number of redundancies at npower's sites at Rainton Bridge, Sunderland, affecting around 430 employees, and in Leeds, affecting 80 workers.
A site in Thornaby will close but employees may relocate to npower's head office in Rainton.
Back office administrative activity such as checking meter readings against customers' bills will be outsourced to India.
Solidarity Executive member David Kerr, said:-
"Losing 1,460 jobs will do more damage to struggling local businesses and services in areas where unemployment is already high. As a Nationalist Union Solidarity wants workers in Britain to have secure jobs and opposes outsourcing abroad.”
GMB Northern Region Senior Organiser Colin Smith countered company claims that the restructuring would be good for customer service.
“GMB will vigorously campaign against the offshoring of jobs to India because it has absolutely nothing to do with customer service and everything to do with cost,” he said.