Energy giant E.ON is to close a call centre with the loss of up to 600 jobs and cut up to 200 other posts in moves to "streamline" its customer service operations, it announced today.
The company will close its site in Rayleigh, Essex, cut 75 jobs from its in-house technical support teams and a further 125 from its energy services business.
Union officials said the total of 800 job losses was a "shock".
E.ON said it will create a substantial number of additional roles in customer service elsewhere in the business.
Graham Bartlett, managing director of E.ON's retail business, said: "We believe that our customers deserve the best possible service and these changes will enable us to make further progress to supplement improvements we've already made."
Unison called on the Government to step in and help save jobs at Rayleigh.
General secretary Dave Prentis said: "This announcement will come as a bitter blow and a terrible shock to call centre workers at E.ON. Every redundancy is a personal tragedy, and the loss of hundreds of jobs will hit families in Rayleigh hard. Times are tough and there are very few alternative jobs out there.
"The fact that the company are creating jobs elsewhere will be cold comfort. It is very difficult for families to uproot themselves, and move hundreds of miles away.
"Local businesses and shops are set to suffer, as people will be struggling to pay for the bare essentials. E.ON must think again. They could run a call centre from anywhere, so could choose to keep these jobs in Rayleigh.
"E.ON customers face big bills every month, and the company continues to make massive profits. They have no need to make these outrageous cuts.
"It is clear that the competitive market for energy has failed. It is time that the Government stepped in and took drastic action to bring energy suppliers into line.
"We will be seeking meetings with the company, and working with our members to discuss the next steps we will be taking."Reuse content