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EE, which is Darlington's largest private employer, admits it is looking to make cuts
ABOUT 140 jobs are at risk at a telecoms firm, which is one of the region's largest employers.
Mobile phone company EE, formerly known as Everything Everywhere, says it is making cuts across administration and support staff departments.
The Northern Echo understands the company is in consultation with about 100 workers in Darlington, where it is the town's biggest private employer, 70 members of staff in North Shields, North Tyneside, and 30 workers in Doxford, Sunderland.
However, the company says any cuts will be made across the whole of its UK division, which includes call centres in Plymouth and Greenock, Scotland, with the majority of North-East workers affected by the 45-day consultation period likely to retain their posts.
The firm, which operates the T-Mobile, Orange and EE brands in the UK, says it is making the changes to help drive forward plans that will increase call centre staff.
A spokesman said 140 roles were under threat, and admitted some job losses could come from the North-East.
He said: “We regularly review our business to ensure we are providing our customers with the best possible service.
“Following the latest review, we are changing the structure of our back office support functions, subject to consultation.
“We appreciate this will be difficult time for those staff affected and we will support them through this period in any way we can.”
Last month, the company, which uses Hollywood actor Kevin Bacon to advertise its services, revealed it was creating 100 North-East jobs by taking on full-time and part-time call centre and sales workers in Darlington and North Shields.
The firm said it could not confirm how many workers would be placed at each site under the plans, which include creating about 200 posts in Merthyr Tydfil, South Wales.
Bosses, who last year did not run an apprenticeship scheme, have also unveiled a drive to take on 500 younger people by 2015, and earlier this year revealed plans to extend its 24-hour call centre in Yarm Road Business Park, Darlington.
It said: “We recognise the importance of providing a platform for the UK's young people to develop professionally, as well as contributing towards the local economy and community in the areas that we operate.
“With one million unemployed people between 16 and 24-years-old, big businesses should play a central role in providing employment opportunities and training up tomorrow's talent.”
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