A NORTH-East MP has held “frank” talks with call centre bosses after staff criticised working conditions.

Darlington MP Jenny Chapman met with executives from mobile phone company EE at the House of Commons on Wednesday.

The meeting was held after current and former employees alleged that the company was routinely acting in an unreasonable and heavy-handed manner.

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The MP said the talks had been “frank and constructive”.

She added: “They said they were unaware that staff at the Darlington site were unhappy with their experience of working for the company.

“They committed to working with me to make sure that the issues we've raised will be examined.

“They want it to be a great place to work, I want it to be a great place to work and the staff want it to be a great place to work, and together we need to make sure that is a reality rather than an aspiration.”

EE also said the talks had been “positive and productive”.

A spokesperson said: “Among other things we discussed that as one of the largest employers in the area we take our responsibility toward our large teams in our Darlington offices, very seriously.

“Feedback from staff is generally very positive, so we were concerned to hear that a small number of employees felt their issues weren’t being addressed as effectively as possible.

"We have committed to investigate these concerns on an individual basis, and look to resolve as quickly as possible.”

An article in yesterday's Northern Echo on EE staff complaints attracted a large response from current and former workers, with more than 70 comments being left on-line and at least a dozen current and former employees ringing or emailing.

The majority of correspondents claimed they had been badly treated by EE, although others spoke out in support of the company.

One man said the article had reduced him to tears because the complaints resembled his own experiences.

Another current employee said: “I have never worked at a company where there are so many unhappy people.”

But one man diagnosed with a medical condition said: “The company has been nothing but amazing with regard to my own personal circumstances.”