Energy giant npower is closing two offices in the Midlands with the loss of 950 jobs as it moves work to India, the firm announced today.
Its Quayside House offices in Oldbury and its huge Fenton offices in Stoke will close.
Around 400 jobs will go at Oldbury, and 550 will be lost in Stoke.
The news was broken to staff as they arrived for work today.
In total, more than 1,460 office jobs will be lost in the UK and transferred to Indian company Tata Consulting – an arm of the conglomerate that also owns Jaguar Land Rover. Hundreds more call centre workers will be transferred to another UK firm.
Officials with the Unison union attacked the decision today as a ‘Christmas nightmare for staff and customers’, warning the company that the decision would backfire badly by damaging its reputation further among UK customers as anger grows at rising gas and electricity bills.
Today’s move will see the closure of Quayside House offices in June. Jobs will also be lost at the company’s Birchfield House offices in Oldbury, but the neighbouring Birch House office is not affected. It will cut npower’s Oldbury workforce to around 500.
Rob Sawle, head of customer accounts at npower’s Quayside office, said: “Today’s announcement is really hard for our people who work here in Oldbury.
“The teams here have done a fantastic job for us and we will do everything we can to look after everyone affected. As a business we are operating in extremely tough times and we have had to look at what is right for the long-term future of the company.”
“Councillor Ian Jones, Sandwell Council’s cabinet member for jobs and economy, said: “This is very sad news at this time of year, that a company which has hundreds of millions of pounds of profit is making this decision.”
Andrew Johnson, Unison regional officer, said today: “We are set to have detailed talks with the company on Monday.”