RWE, the owner of Npower, has announced a radical programme of cost-cutting that will mean 6,750 people will lose their jobs across Europe. This is an astonishing 18% of the workforce.
So what will it mean for workers in the UK?
reported that the cuts would come as part of an effort to save £840 million, to help the company deal with lower wholesale energy prices and the transition to renewables in Germany, which are damaging its profits. However, it added that RWE had declined to outline exactly how many people will be going in the UK.
The Financial Times
has reported that the bulk of jobs will be lost in Germany, where 4,750 are expected to go. There are some signs that there could be a significant hit in the UK too.
In the UK
The unions Unison and GMB said last week that there was growing speculation that 2,000 UK call centre jobs would be outsourced to India. Unison National Officer for Energy, Matthew Lay, said: "NPower workers are up in arms about rumours that the company is about to axe 2000 jobs. In the weeks leading up to Christmas, the last thing that its workers need is news that their jobs are under threat. The company should come clean and put an end to the fear and uncertainty spreading across the workforce."
An announcement is expected next week, but Npower is already on record as saying it is reviewing sites and people across the UK, and it said in August that over the next five years it will consolidate 26 UK sites into ten. However, no further detail has been forthcoming.