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Orange sorry over job loss fears

Tuesday April 19th 2011

Mobile phone giant Orange has issued an apology over fears that workers in a UK call centre faced relocating to the Philippines, blaming it on a "human resources error".

Union leaders had earlier voiced concern over planned changes to the centre in Darlington, County Durham, saying that staff faced redundancy, lower pay or "unrealistic" relocation half-way around the world.

The company said it was in contact with the 40 employees involved and will be making it clear it was not proactively asking or expecting people to move to Manila.

"The information given out was not done officially and we apologise to those involved. In the case of work transferring locations, the individuals do have the right to request moving with that work, and we have a duty of care to discuss the option.

"We recently proposed some operational changes to our nightshift customer services for the Orange brand. As part of a business process decision, overnight consumer calls will in future be handled by an existing outsource partner in Manila during their daytime hours.

"In accordance with UK employment law, we've completed a collective consultation and are now holding discussions on an individual basis. All 40 of our consumer nightshift team based in Darlington will be offered alternative roles in the UK, or redundancy terms," said a spokesman.

The Communication Workers Union said it was worried about the impact of the move on jobs in the North East

Copyright © Press Association 2011

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