Commenting on the announcement today (Thursday) that British Gas is to close a number of its sites in Manchester and Hampshire, and reduce the opening hours of its customer services call centre, UNISON national energy officer Matt Lay said:
“The 2,000 and more employees affected will be concerned by the changes and many will be nervous that their jobs are hanging in the balance.
“UNISON will be going all out to ensure there won’t be a single compulsory redundancy and that no-one loses out from the switch to a 9-5 weekday customer operation. We have received assurances from British Gas and plan to hold the company to its word.
“But the instability of the UK energy market means there’s a lot more uncertainty to come – for employees and customers alike.
“Only a radical solution will turn this tide. Taking the retail operations of the biggest energy firms into public ownership would not only enable the staff to encourage the country’s businesses and households to go green, it would also help steady the UK’s energy supply and protect jobs.”
Notes to editors:
– British Gas has announced it is to close two sites in Manchester (Talbot Road and Hattersley) and relocate staff there to Stockport. It is also shutting its Staines site and moving the staff to Windsor, closing its base in Chandlers Ford, reorganising its Leicester call centre and reducing the opening hours of its customer services to 9am-5pm.
– UNISON is the UK’s largest union, with more than 1.3 million members providing public services – in education, local government, the NHS, police service and energy. They are employed in both the public and private sectors.