One of the biggest strikes of the year began on Thursday morning with Royal Mail, BT and Openreach workers walking out over pay and conditions. At BT Customer Contact Centre, in Gosforth, members of the Communication Workers Union (CWU) wore bright jackets and waved flags as they formed a picket lines at the entrance to the building. They joined around 30,000 Openreach engineers and 10,000 BT call centre workers who have already taken industrial action, and further strikes are also planned for October 24.
The new jobs will be available at BGL Insurance (BGLi) before the end of the year and they will all be based at BGLi’s St Catherine’s Court site. All of the new recruits will be involved in multi-channel customer service support and they come at a time when the firm already has more than 500 people on its books. BGLi, which is also a sponsor of the Sunderland Echo Business Excellence Awards, is a digital distributor of insurance and household financial services.
South West Ambulance has the longest waits in the country for people to get through to the operator. It takes almost a minute on average for ambulance control to answer 999 calls compared with just five seconds for the West Midlands service.