Cumbria

Union's demand over 52 Cumbria directory enquiry jobs

A union has challenged British Telecom to find jobs for all 52 workers threatened by the closure of a Cumbrian directory enquiries call centre.

The announcement about the Barrow centre was made earlier this month.

BT said the decision was "regrettable" but necessary because of a big reduction in calls with people using the internet to find numbers.

The Communication Workers' Union (CWU) wants jobs to be found for all 52 workers as a unit.

Sally Bridge from the CWU said they met BT this week and had a "constructive" meeting.

'Coherent unit'

But she said if BT had not found a "total solution" to keep the 52 workers together by 8 October, they would have to look again at the situation.

She said: "It is not acceptable, as far as we are concerned to pick off individuals and fragment that workforce and the coherent unit structure that exists at that Barrow call site.

"We want alternative work, suitable work, which can be brought en masse for 52 people, BT employees at Barrow."

She said they believed there was suitable work that could be brought to Barrow such as consumer sales or customer service.

At the time, BT said it would be working to find new roles for everyone who wanted to stay with the company and would provide training.

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