News : British Gas Oldbury Jobs Could Go by End of the Year
Oldbury, England, UK, April 26, 2016 -- British Gas could close its Oldbury site with a loss of more than 680 jobs by the end of the year, it has be revealed.
Bosses at the firm say staff at the Swallowfield One office and call centre could be subject to a phased redundancy programme ending in December if plans to close the site are rubber stamped.
It comes after British Gas announced shock proposals to close the site as part of a strategy to improve service and reduce costs to ensure competitive prices.
Warley MP John Spellar met with company bosses last week to explore the options available to save the firm's operation on Wolverhampton Road.
He said: "If these plans go through the likelihood is that offices will be closed by the end of this year following a phased programme of redundancies.
"The strategy at the moment is two-pronged. Firstly we need to hear the case for the company remaining on site.
"If that option is not viable then it is vital that we look at what training and support is available for the workers. Attracting an alternative company to take over the site is another option."
The GMB and Unite unions are due to present a business case to keep the offices open in the next two weeks.
Last week's closure announcement came as a huge shock, coming just weeks after talks had started to increase car parking space at the site due to high staffing levels.
"It certainly came out of the blue for the workforce," Mr Spellar added.
"The company says they have lost a lot of their market share, but the figures do not justify taking out such a large portion of their operation.
"It is still not clear why such drastic action is required. I hope this is not a case of senior management responding to short term pressures from the city."
A Government taskforce led by Small Business Minister Anna Soubry was swiftly assembled to support workers affected by the proposals.
It is understood that contact has been made with bosses at the firm with a view to opening discussions over the coming weeks.
The 684 proposed job losses are understood to be part of thousands of job cuts announced last year by parent company Centrica, which owns other energy businesses.
Unite said British Gas was looking at relocating its Oldbury operation between Glasgow, Leicester and Stockport, with plans to create further roles at those sites.
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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British Gas is a British-owned company. As part of the Centrica Group, we provide gas, electricity and home repair services to millions of customers in Scotland, Wales and England. In fact, we are the UK's leading energy and Home Services provider.
Published: Thursday, April 28, 2016