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News : Workers Stage Protest Outside Capita Call Centre for Tesco Mobile After Relocation Fears

#contactcenterworld, @capitacareers

Bury, UK, May, 2021 -- Workers called for jobs to stay in Bury as they protested at controversial proposals to shut down a flagship contact centre employing hundreds of people.

The Bury Times exclusively revealed that Capita has put forward plans to close its operation at the Dumers Lane ­— a major employment hub in Bury ­— and relocate workers to Warrington, with a number being able to work from home.

The flagship contact centre, which serves as a call centre for Tesco Mobile, still employs just under 500 people.

Bury Council and the Communication Workers Union (CWU) are calling on Capita to rethink the proposals which they say will save jobs.

Joining workers outside the centre yesterday morning was Bury Council leader Eamonn O'Brien.

He said: "We are all very worried about the impact it will have on the staff, many who are our local residents but also the other staff who come in to Bury and contribute to our economy and support a great local service.

"And we don't like to see jobs leaving Bury at this time.

"Our economy is very fragile as it rebuilds and recovers from coronavirus, and this is simply not going to help."

He added: "For many of these workers adding on at the very minimum a 70 mile round trip to there daily lives is simply unreasonable and inevitably going to lead to jobs being lost in our community for our residents."

Cllr O'Brien said: "I think they have to come back to the table and work with our friends in the CWU and figure out a way so there is as little disruption to jobs and flexibly in how we can work in an alternative way."

Regional Secretary Carl Webb said: "One word stuck out to us after we emailed our members to let them know what was going and that was 'heartbroken'.

"They are devastated, they have worked all the way through the pandemic, they have been really busy, they have been key workers helping keep the country connected.

"They have made this brand, Tesco Mobile, what it is.

"These companies say they have social corporate responsibilities but number one they are expecting people to drive round trip of over 70 miles, there are no good public transport links

"They are devastating the town and the employees so there does not seem to be any social corporate responsibility or no loyalty towards the staff.

"We have a group of workers who are so concerned about their futures."

The union says it is urging the company to continue with a model of home and office working, which has been a success.

"If they want to downsize, lets look for a smaller hub and the council have been amazing saying they will work with the company to find them suitable premises, it will save them revenue but it will keep the jobs in Bury ­— that's all we are asking show a bit of loyalty to the staff not just the shareholders, not just the executives.

"The majority of members are saying they can't do that journey.

"There is no talk about travel time or about travel expenses."

Hannah Sadler Branch Secretary said: "This was such a tiny business when it began and they have built it up to what is it and 94 per cent of people who came back to us when we asked what we could do to help said they could not do the journey for multiple reasons they were carers, they had children they could not afford it, the petrol cost would be a huge outlay."

Capita do not own the building and its lease is due to come to an end soon.

A Capita spokesperson said: "We have made the difficult decision to close our Bury contact centre. In the future, the work will be delivered from our Preston Brook office alongside a home working solution.

"As part of the consultation, we plan to retain as many colleagues as possible on this contract

"From the start, we have had constructive, ongoing conversations with our appointed union reps which we will continue to do throughout the process."

#contactcenterworld, @capitacareers

Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent

About Capita:
Company LogoOutsourcing - delivering measurable benefits to our clients What we bring our customers: Inspired productive people Streamlined administration processes Effective ICT Innovation Improved customer services Supported by our extensive capabilities Comprehensive range of expertise and resources Extensive business centre network Flexible, efficient service agreements and delivery models - onshore, nearshore and offshore
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