New jobs blow at power giant
ENERGY giant TXU is today preparing for another round of job losses – just as its new headquarters in the heart of Ipswich takes shape.Hundreds of staff in Ipswich face an anxious build-up to Christmas after the American-owned company announced it was looking to axe hundreds of jobs.
By Nick Richards
ENERGY giant TXU is today preparing for another round of job losses – just as its new headquarters in the heart of Ipswich takes shape.
Hundreds of staff in Ipswich face an anxious build-up to Christmas after the American-owned company announced it was looking to axe hundreds of jobs.
Since privatisation 12 years ago, thousands of jobs have been lost in the power supply industry – which has seen a major shake-up.
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TXU is the successor to the old Eastern Electricity group, but the company only supplies the power, it is not responsible for the distribution network – that is run by 24/Seven, a separate firm altogether.
Ipswich is the European headquarters of TXU and is likely to bear the brunt of the job cuts as it strives to cut costs in the face of an expected drop in earnings.
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The firm expects earnings to fall and said tough market conditions have sparked the shock decision.
TXU spokesman Nick Lakin said a global reorganisation of the company, which employees 1,600 people in the UK, would mean job losses throughout its operations but this country would be the hardest hit, particularly its headquarters at Ipswich.
Mr Lakin rejected reports of 200 jobs going, saying it was too early to tell what the exact figure would be.
"There is likely to be significant job losses in the UK, including Ipswich," he warned.
Mr Lakin said despite the domestic difficulties in the market, the New York-listed company was committed to its operations in Britain and would deal openly and fairly with its employees.
The decision will not affect TXU sponsorship of Ipswich Town Football Club or building of the new business centre being built in the town.
TXU's new £35 million business centre is under construction in the town's Russell Road and adjoins Ipswich Town's football ground.
It is due to open next summer and all 1,000 staff based in TXU Europe's five offices in the Ipswich area will be relocated to the building - transforming the site into the heart of the company's UK energy business.
Ipswich MP Chris Mole said he was enormously disappointed by the development and will be keen to meet with TXU management next week.
He said: "It's always disappointing when people's jobs are under threat. It's an uncertain time for a lot of people.
"It has been encouraging to have the confidence from TXU in Ipswich with their new facility in development. I hope this will mean they will be able to consolidate and move in to their new premises and stay with us in Ipswich," he added.