Union vows to hold gas giant to commitment to consult over job cuts

Union leaders have threatened industrial action after it emerged that British Gas is planning to cut up to 2,000 jobs and outsource roles to India.

The energy giant said it needed fewer staff because of a new customer billing system being introduced as part of a major change programme.

But public service union Unison pledged to fight the job losses – which would hit offices in Oldham, Solihull and two in Manchester – calling the move “completely unacceptable”.

Steve Bloomfield, the union’s head of utilities, said: “No-one should be fooled that these saving will go towards reducing customers’ bills or improving services.

“We have an agreement with British Gas that they must consult the unions on their plans before any final decisions are made. We will hold them to this agreement and will fight the management all the way to stop these office closures.”

In a statement, British Gas said: “As we have always indicated, following the implementation of the new systems we will have considerably reduced need for back office – data processing and administrative – staff and we are consulting with the trade unions about the future options.

“As you would expect, when any decision has been made our first priority will be to inform our employees and ensure that they are supported through any changes that may impact on them, which would include redeployment to other roles where possible. We can confirm that whatever future option we decide on there will be no impact on jobs this year.”

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