Air Miles’ staff talks bring options instead of closure

Air Miles could change its plans to close its Crawley call centre after an
alternative proposal was put forward by its staff during consultation.

The company had proposed to close the call centre at its HQ in Crawley, Sussex,
with the loss of up to 240 jobs and double the size of its custom-built call
centre in Warrington in order to increase efficiency and to cut costs.

But Air Miles, which had guaranteed jobs to employees who agreed to
relocate, invited staff to put forward alternative cost-saving suggestions and
counter proposals during a 12-week consultation period.

Drew Thomson, Air Miles’ managing director, said one of the proposals the
staff representative body Viewpoint came up with has a good chance of being adopted
and could result in part of the call centre remaining open.

He said, "One of the proposals could change what we plan to do, it
could result in some call centre functions remaining at Crawley. I am quite
excited about that.

"What is the point of having an involving culture if you don’t include
your staff on a decision of this magnitude?"

Air Miles’ HR team set up a series of briefing sessions to inform staff of
its plans to close the Crawley call centre, and also held a workshop in which
management shared all the financial information that had led to the planned
changes.

This week, the new proposal will be put to all staff, who will give their
views in a questionnaire.

Thomson said the results of the questionnaire survey would be revealed at
the Viewpoint meeting later in the week, and this would decide whether the
alternative put forward by the staff representative body was adopted.

Air Miles will then hold detailed one-to-one discussions with all staff on
the options open to them.

By Ben Willmott

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