– Cllr Royston Smith, Leader of Southampton City Council
Southampton City Council will do everything it can to support British Gas staff at this very difficult time.
Helping our residents into employment is a top priority for the city, and we are already pulling together a taskforce of council officers with employment and skills expertise and partners including JobCentre Plus and other agencies to respond to today’s news.”
550 call centre workers for British Gas were told they were out of a job today.
The company said it was closing the centre, in St Mary's Road, Southampton, by the end of the year as part of a cost cutting review. It said this would help it to stay competitive.
Andrew Pate speaks to Ian Peters, Managing Director of British Gas and Mike Jeram from UNISON.
UNISON has called the possible closure of British Gas Residential’s office in Southampton -with the loss of 500 jobs - a blow for staff and the local economy.The company has told the union it is considering closing the office in Southampton, where the lease is due to finish at the end of next year.
– Mike Jeram, UNISON’s National Energy Secretary
This is obviously very worrying news and a blow for our members working in Southampton. British Gas has been a significant employer in the town for many years and the customer service centre provides a variety of working patterns that are popular with staff especially those with children or other caring responsibilities.
“UNISON’s immediate priority is the interests of our members in Southampton and the impact on British Gas customers. We will rigorously examine the company’s business case with a view to defending our members’ jobs and avoiding compulsory redundancies."
Staff were told this morning that the centre in St Mary's Road in Southampton will be closed by the end of 2012 as part of a company-wide review.