AN Inverclyde trade union official has called for the creation of a Scottish Government-backed taskforce to ensure Inverclyde is not ‘abandoned’ in the wake of the latest jobs 'hammer blow' to hit the district.

The Telegraph revealed earlier this month EE’s plans to quit Inverclyde for Glasgow and move its entire 450-strong workforce out of their current site in Greenock.

The shock news was the subject of an emergency resolution at last weekend’s Scottish Labour Conference in Glasgow, with the Communication Workers Union’s (CWU) regional secretary Craig Anderson and Gourock councillor Martin McCluskey speaking out about the plans.

READ MORE: Row erupts during Inverclyde Council meeting over Greenock EE motion

Mr Anderson described the move to shut the contact centre by the end of November and relocate the 442 permanent and 13 agency desk workers employed by BT Group at the site as a ‘hammer blow’ for the area.


He said: “I can stand here and say with confidence today with the work that our union has done that BT will give every single person currently employed at that site a job.

“But that job will be based in Glasgow, they will also receive agreed travel costs and they will also keep working on the same terms in the same job as what they had.

“There are specific issues in terms of caring and childcare responsibilities and also reasonable adjustments.

Greenock Telegraph: EE contact centre in Greenock.

“Do not make the mistake that this is a white flag from the CWU. We want to save the site, we want to fight to save the site and at this particular time Inverclyde needs to save the site from closure.

“The loss of these jobs at EE is yet another hammer blow for the Inverclyde economy, this is an area that has been subjected to repeated large scale industrial closures with no apparent industrial strategy to sustain the future of the local economy.

“What we need is the Scottish Government to convene an overall task force to bring together all the stakeholders and the CWU to make sure the people of Inverclyde are not left abandoned.”

Greenock Telegraph:

Elected members of Inverclyde Council last week backed a motion put forward by Labour councillor Martin McCluskey about the closure of the EE contact centre.

Mr McCluskey's motion asked the local authority to take a number of steps to address the shock move, which included asking council leader Stephen McCabe to communicate their opposition to the local job cuts to BT Group, the Scottish Government and the UK Government.

Mr McCluskey told the Telegraph that he had held talks with a senior BT representative to put the case for EE in Greenock and express the opposition of the community to the closure.

Speaking at conference, Councillor McCluskey, who is also his party’s general election candidate for Inverclyde and Renfrewshire West, made a direct appeal to BT Group’s Glasgow-born chief executive.

Greenock Telegraph: Greenock EE contact centre closure raised at Scottish Labour Conference.

He said: “Allison Kirkby was born in Glasgow and took over at BT on 1st February.

“She talks about her experience growing up in a working-class community, and the challenges she and her family faced.

"She will know the impact that job losses have had on communities in the west of Scotland. I say this to her today: don’t make the problem worse.

"You inherited these plans from your predecessor; look at them again and think about the impact your actions could have on our community. Be part of our future. Not part of the problem."

When the comments were put to BT Group by the Telegraph, a spokesperson said: “We’re consulting with colleagues and trade unions on our proposed plan to relocate colleagues at our Greenock contact centre to our flagship Glasgow office, which has recently undergone a multi-million-pound upgrade.

“Around 2,000 colleagues are already based at our Glasgow office, which includes all parts of BT Group, allowing colleagues many opportunities to develop their careers across the company.

“BT Group continues to make record investments in Scotland’s infrastructure, including in Inverclyde, helping to transform and futureproof the nation’s digital economy."

The full Scottish Labour conference debate on the emergency resolution can be found at