NIE 'efficiency drive' could lead to 90 job losses says GMB union

NIE Networks is planning to reduce its staff numbers by 90, the company said in a statement
Gary McDonald Business Editor

NORTHERN Ireland Electricity is planning to cut 90 staff as part of an efficiency drive, the company has confirmed.

NIE Networks is responsible for distributing electricity to more than 850,000 homes and businesses in Northern Ireland and for the development, construction and maintenance of 49,000km of overhead lines and underground cables.

In a statement a spokesperson for NIE Networks said: “We are in initial discussions with recognised trade unions and elected representatives on a number of measures to drive operating efficiency within the business and to deliver a good value service to all electricity customers.

"This includes proposals to reduce the number of job roles by 90 across the business.”

The move - with comes just weeks after is was revealed that the Kilroot power station will close with the loss of scores of jobs - has been slammed by the GMB union, which says it has been advised by senior management at NIE that it will be entering into a 30-day consultation regarding reductions in the workforce.

"This is a very worrying and stressful time for our members, especially on the back of the recent announcement about Kilroot," GMB regional organiser Alan Perry said.

He said the company, which employees 1,250 people, blames the most recent price control final determination and a reducing connection market for the job losses.

"This is devastating news for the people of Northern Ireland.

"But we are hopeful that during the consultation process a number of the roles will be delivered through non-payroll initiatives such as reducing the time customers are without power," he added.

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