Deal saves BT call centre jobs in Cumbria

More than 50 call centre jobs have been saved in Cumbria after a deal between BT and union leaders.

Last August, BT said it was closing a directory enquiries centre in Barrow because of a drop in calls due to more customers using the internet.

But the company has now decided to upgrade the centre and bring in alternative work - securing 52 jobs.

The Communication Workers Union (CWU) said the decision was "great news" for the local economy.

A BT spokeswoman said: "We stressed throughout our intention to find employees wishing to remain in the company alternative roles.

'Bright future'

"We have found suitable alternative work in customer services for those people who want to stay with BT when the directory centre closes.

"We are currently finalising details and will brief staff further in mid-February.

"All those involved will continue to be based in the same building in Barrow."

CWU deputy general secretary Andy Kerr said: "Commitment from BT to upgrade the technology infrastructure shows that the company is now investing in the site and implies that the future is bright for a new generation of BT employees in Barrow.

"It's great news for the local economy."

CWU's lead negotiator Sally Bridge added: "This is fantastic news and a huge relief for BT staff in Barrow who have had months of uncertainty over their job future."

Directory enquiries will cease at the centre on 28 January.

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