Manweb plans to cut staff by 500

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The Independent Online
MANWEB, one of the 12 regional electricity companies in England and Wales, is to cut 500 jobs over the next three years in the face of toughening regulatory control, writes Mary Fagan.

A further 400 jobs are under threat at Northern Ireland Electricity unless staff in the high street showrooms accept an average pay cut of 6.1 per cent.

Manweb, which operates in North-west England and North Wales, said that the job losses would eventually save the company pounds 20m a year.

It will make a provision of pounds 20m in this year's accounts to cover the restructuring, together with a further pounds 10m provision related to Manweb's recent buyback of government debt.

John Roberts, chief executive, said the changes were a continuation of a phased strategy to improve service and cut costs, put in place when the company was privatised. Since 1990 Manweb has reduced the workforce from 5,600 to 4,500.

Of the 500 job losses announced yesterday 400 will be in the electricity distribution arm.

Last month Offer, the industry regulator, announced cuts in electricity distribution charges, to take effect in April 1995, which Manweb said would cost the company pounds 22m next year.

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