A company is set to axe 139 jobs after workers were told contracts were to be exported to India.
G4S Utility Services, based at Cobalt Business Park in Newcastle, this week told administration employees their work was set to be outsourced to a company in Noida, in India.
Ninety agency staff and 49 contract workers will be affected by the move.
While bosses from the organisation say all staff will be reallocated within the business, angry workers say they are sceptical and have condemned the move as a “cost-cutting” exercise.
The company is a leading provider of meter reading services, providing readings to all major energy suppliers and data collection services to a wider portfolio of UK customers.
> So is someone from India now going to come round and read there meter ? !
One worker, who asked not to be named, said: “We weren’t expecting this so it was a shock when we were told what they were planning to do.
“The announcement received a very hostile reception from both the permanent and temporary staff who are set to be affected.
“We don’t believe there are enough positions to reallocate jobs to everyone, and these plans have been greeted with a huge amount of scepticism.
“Roughly 150 people will be affected by the changes.
“We have been told that the reasoning behind the decision is “future proofing”, meaning the long term survival of the business.
“However, experience tell us that outsourcing is never greeted that well by customers which means we can see no other motive than cost-cutting.
“The North East is suffering a lot when it comes to unemployment and we can see this is doing nothing but adding to that problem.”
The changes are expected to come into force from this month, with the transition process complete by March next year.
A G4S spokesperson said: “G4S Utility and Outsourcing Services (UK) Limited confirms it is entering into a contract with EXLService to outsource back office data provision for certain contracts. Staff will be reallocated within the business.”
Source – Newcastle Evening Chronicle, 02 Oct 2014
> I’ve always thought that working in a call centre must be a pretty grim job – I didn’t realise quite how grim…
A call centre manager has launched legal action against one of the region’s biggest employers after being sacked following an incident in which a man was kicked unconscious at his desk.
Mother-of-two Fay Hand was dismissed after bosses said she had not done enough to tackle bullying and harassment among staff at the EE offices, in Darlington.
But the 37-year-old from Wynyard Village, near Stockton, has taken the mobile phone company to an employment tribunal, claiming she was unfairly sacked after 17 years with the company.
The hearing at Teesside Magistrates’ Court was told that an investigation was launched after a call handler kicked a colleague in the head as the man was sitting at his desk, leaving him unconscious.
The attacker later alleged that he had been provoked after being bullied by members of his team.
The man claimed that in one incident three weeks earlier a Fifa computer game was taken from his bag.
The game was later recovered, but a colleague took his car keys from his pocket and removed the game from his car, before holding it to ransom.
Fake disciplinary hearings were also held by team members, the tribunal heard.
Operations manager Mrs Hand was told about the incident with the game by the men’s team leader.
But EE claims Mrs Hand should have done more to prevent the alleged bullying and taken action when she was made aware of it.
Tracey Dawe, EE employee relations specialist, who was involved in Mrs Hand’s disciplinary case, told the hearing: “There should have been an investigation into the alleged taking of the keys.
“She didn’t do enough when she became aware of it.”
However, Ms Dawe agreed it was unfair that Mrs Hand had never been asked to explain during the investigation why she had not taken further action.
The hearing was also told Mrs Hand was not made aware of what Judge Gerald Johnson described as ‘schoolboy pranks‘ which took place among the team – one of eight she managed at the time.
Judge Johnson asked Ms Dawe: “How can she possibly fail to prevent something she doesn’t know anything about? She can’t can she.”
Seven people were sacked following the assault, including the victim, the attacker and the team leader.
The Northern Echo reported in January how Darlington MP Jenny Chapman held talks with EE bosses after concerns were raised about working conditions at the call centre.
Staff claimed that bosses at the company’s Darlington site were acting in an unreasonable and heavy-handed manner.
In response, the company said it took seriously its responsibilities to its staff.
The tribunal continues
> The impression I get after reading that is of battery chickens pecking each other out of frustration. I think I’d rather be on the dole than work in an environment like that.
Source – Northern Echo, 08 Aug 2014
It’s farewell to your centuries-old right to free speech today, after your Conservative and Liberal Democrat MPs won their bid to get the Gagging Bill passed by the House of Lords. It won’t go back to the Commons because the Lords made no amendments.
While you, personally, will be allowed to continue complaining about anything you want, you will no longer have the ability to link up with others to protest government actions in any meaningful way as such action may breach Liberal Democrat and Tory government-imposed spending limits. Your personal complaints will be deemed unrepresentative of the people.
You will still be able to have your e-petition on the government’s website – if you win enough signatures to have it debated in Parliament – ignored by the Tories and Liberal Democrats in the House of Commons.
The Liberal Democrats and Tories have even managed to rub salt into the wound…
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