Prime Minister David Cameron has agreed to set up a taskforce to help nearly 700 British Gas workers who could lose their jobs.
He made the comment at the House of Commons yesterday after the Big Six supplier proposed plans to cut 684 office-based roles and close its Oldbury office.
Responding to a question put forward by MP for Warley and Westminster John Spellar about the “devastating news” and whether the government would help save the jobs, Mr Cameron said he “can give that assurance”.
The Prime Minister added: “We will make sure that a taskforce of ministers is available to talk to the company, to talk to the local community, to provide all the assistance in terms of retraining and other things that can be done to help.”
British Gas also launched a 45-day consultation to discuss the proposals and seek views of employees.
The GMB union welcomed the news but said its members “do not want this taskforce to be a toothless tiger”.
National Secretary Brian Strutton added: “Thanks to local MP John Spellar’s intervention, David Cameron has promised a ministerial taskforce to try to save the British Gas Oldbury office from closure, giving a possible lifeline to 680 workers at the site most of whom are GMB members.
“However, our members do not want this taskforce to be a toothless tiger so on their behalf I’ve asked for GMB to be involved to make sure that saving jobs is the taskforce’s top priority as it is ours.”