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News : Workers Could Lose their Jobs Just Before Christmas as Call Centre Closes
Wigan, UK, November, 2015 -- The 112 staff, mostly women, stand to be affected by the closure and some claim their contracts are being broken as Betfred are not offering enhanced redundancy packages
More than 100 people are set to lose their jobs just before Christmas as bookmaking provider Betfred closes its call centre in Wigan.
The 112 staff, mostly women, stand to be affected by the closure and some claim their contracts are being broken as Betfred are not offering enhanced redundancy packages.
Employees backed by Unite Union say when Befred bought government-owned bookmaker Tote in 2011, their terms of employment including enhanced redundancy carried over and they worried owner Fred Done is not recognising them.
Unite regional officer Donna Kassim said some employees stood to lose thousands of pounds if enhanced redundancy is not offered.
She added: "The company has refused to honour our members’ contracts of employment and negotiations have proved fruitless. When Betfred bought Tote the terms of employment passed over including enhanced redundancy packages but Betfred do not recognise these terms.
"Many ordinary men and women are the customers and the lifeblood of Betfred and have played their part in making the owners, Fred and Peter Done, two of the richest men in the UK.
"Betfred’s decision not to honour our members’ terms and conditions is unacceptable. It is Unite’s intention to challenge this both on an industrial level and through the courts, if necessary. We urge the company to think again."
A Betfred spokesman, who refused to discuss the ‘enhanced’ redundancy payments, said: "After a very detailed consultation with our staff at our Wigan call centre we have unfortunately, after reviewing all options, had to make the decision to close the operation on 11 December 2015.
"We have already secured jobs for a number of staff within Betfred and there are others who are considering taking up positions which are available within the company. We will continue to offer our full support to all staff who wish to find alternative employment within the Betfred Group or externally. Betfred management and local Government agencies have been on site for a number of weeks helping staff with any questions and advice.
"However, following the review of the call centre unfortunately it was no longer viable as there has been a significant shift towards betting on mobile and online. This announcement affects 14 full-time and 98 part-time jobs. It is understood that seven of the 14 full-timers have already secured jobs.
"Betfred’s IT, project management and transmission employees will remain in Wigan - around 150 people. We will be contacting customers very shortly to inform them of our decision."
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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Betfred is a United Kingdom-based bookmaker, named after its co-founders Fred and Peter Done. It was first established as a single shop in Ordsall, Salford, in 1967.
Published: Monday, November 30, 2015