British Gas’ decision to axe 684 office jobs, including the company’s Oldbury operation in the West Midlands, has been met with dismay by Unite, the country’s largest union, which called for the site to remain open.
Unite regional co-ordinating officer Paresh Patel said: “Today’s (Wednesday 20 April) announcement is a hammer blow for the workforce at Oldbury and their families, as well as having an adverse impact on the local economy.
“Unite’s position is that we need to do what we can to keep this site open and the 45-day consultation process will provide us with a platform to hear about the proposals in more detail and also to put forward alternative solutions. British Gas remains a highly profitable company.
“British Gas is looking at relocating its Oldbury operation between three other sites; Uddingston (near Glasgow), Leicester and Stockport (near Manchester). The plan is to create further roles at these three sites, making those ‘centres of excellence’, but most people may not want to relocate.
“The majority of roles under threat relate to call centre workers and office staff.
“While our membership is predominantly based amongst the field operative group, who work across the UK, we will do all that we can to support those members who may be affected by this announcement.”
In a statement British Gas said that if the closure of the Oldbury office is confirmed, British Gas Services would explore redeployment opportunities for people whose roles are affected.
Notes to editors:
For more information please contact Unite senior communications officer Shaun Noble on 020 3371 2060 or 07768 693940. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with over 1.4 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.