Mobile phone operator Orange is reorganising its call centre operations in the UK, affecting up to 1,000 staff, while creating 300 new jobs at its Indian operation.
One call centre in Peterlee, County Durham, is being closed, with 900 staff being offered employment at two other locations in the North East. A further 100 staff in Solihull, West Midlands are also being offered the option to work in the Darlington or Tyneside call centres.
A spokesman for France Telecom-owned Orange said he has no idea how many will agree to the switch as the company has only just entered a three-month consultation with staff. However, he admitted relocation or a lengthy commute may not suit everybody affected.
Of the Peterlee closure the spokesman said: "We don't want to lose anybody, we just want to get rid of the building. We're not utilising it. We're probably using about 50 per cent of it so we're going to go from three to two buildings."
Orange has a lease on the building for "another few years" and will sub-let it, he said. The spokesman expects Orange employees to be out of the building by spring 2007.
The announcement coincides with news that Orange is to hire 300 staff at its Indian call centre operations. That process is likely to be competed by the end of the year, the spokesman said.
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