INVERCLYDE'S MP has held showdown talks with EE bosses after fears were raised about the safety of employees still working in the Greenock call centre.

Ronnie Cowan took the firm to task over concerns about social distancing and hygiene.

Their Cartsburn nerve centre has remained open and bosses have told the MP that they are an essential operator as they handle 999 calls for first responders.

Mr Cowan says bosses have introduced strict new measures to make sure that their call handlers are safer - and have scrapped practices like 'hot desking'.

The MP said: "I’ve received a number of enquiries from constituents who work at EE or have family members who work there.

"I spoke with senior management at the UK level to again press the concerns which have been raised with me."

Employers had contacted the Tele to complain about a lack of hand sanitiser at their workplace.

One staff member who contacted us said: "There are still a good few hundred people working in the office at the one time.

"Two of the hand sanitiser units ran out and management told us we'd either need to walk to the other end of the large office or bring in our own."

MP Mr Cowan says management have 'promised that they would make sure everyone is working two metres apart and there is no longer any hot desking'.

He added: "In the centre and canteen and toilets they are implementing a one way system to aid distancing.

"I asked about hand sanitisers and was informed that more are being provided and were now sourced locally.

"Alongside this, EE have suspended all proactive marketing. "

The telecommunications bosses told the MP that there is an increased demand for upgrades coming from customers who are now working at home.

He said: "Management informed me that EE also handle 999 calls for first responders and that can’t be done unless the worker is in the call centre.

"The same applies to engineers who dial into customers' systems to fix problems."

An EE spokesperson told the Telegraph that all hand sanitiser bottles are full on site and all eight bathrooms contain multiple working sinks.

They said: “Our priorities are to help everyone stay connected and to keep our colleagues safe.

"We’d like to thank our amazing colleagues for their critical work at this time.

"We’ve increased cleaning and continue to ask our colleagues to protect themselves by strictly following personal hygiene measures.

"We’ve arranged work spaces at recommended safe distances by opening communal areas as well as providing free meals."

The spokesperson added: "Our colleagues are coming to work only if they’re able to do so.

"If not, we’re continuing to pay them, even if they need to self-isolate.

"Those who can do their role from home are doing so.

“While we’ve suspended all proactive sales and marketing activities, our Greenock colleagues are seeing huge demand to help customers keep their family members and businesses connected at this critical time.

"This includes helping vulnerable customers receive handsets which enable them to have video calls with their friends and family."