Job fears as Vodafone confirms second call centre closure

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Vodafone has confirmed it will close its Trowbridge contact centre in June putting 200 jobs at risk and bringing potential redundancy numbers close to 1,000 in the past 12 months

Vodafone is to shut its Trowbridge customer service contact centre in June, which is likely to see a further 200 staff made redundant.

The news follows the operators announcement in October it would be closing its Banbury contact centre in the summer, which will see around 400 staff made redundant.

Vodafone also made 375 staff redundant in March 2010, with roles in HR, marketing, finance and technology being cut across its sites in Newbury, Warrington, Newark, Banbury, Trowbridge and Stoke.

It did however recruit 170 new customer facing roles and 50 graduates in September.

Vodafone said the closure of its Trowbridge office, which has been open for more than 10 years, is part of its strategy to improve and simplify the levels of service offered to customers.

Vodafone is proposing its Trowbridge staff move to its purpose built site in Stoke on Trent which opened last year. Trowbridge staff are understood to be in a three month consultation period to decide if they wish to make the move to the Stoke, which is more than 150 miles from their current housing.

Vodafone said it is also proposing 65 of its customer facing staff from its head office in Newbury relocate to the Stoke office.

The Communication Workers Union (CWU), which represents operator staff at non-management level, expressed its concerns by branding the proposals for staff to make the 300 plus mile commute or to relocate as “unrealistic.”

A CWU spokesperson said: “Staff at Trowbridge are devastated by Vodafone’s news the centre will be closed. Many thought their jobs were secure after last year’s round of redundancies at the site, so this news is a bitter blow.

“While we urge Vodafone to offer relocation packages to staff, we know that a move to Stoke on Trent is unrealistic for most people, meaning redundancy. Staff are understandably upset and we are urging the company to make employment considerations and staff relations a priority.”

Vodafone UK customer services Abi Bown said:  “Today’s changes are about creating a lean and fast-moving organisation.  We also want to ensure that people impacted by this are supported to find alternative roles, and that we give them as much notice as we can.”

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