Page last updated at 11:29 GMT, Wednesday, 18 February 2009

Thames Water faces strike ballot

Thames Water believe the job cuts will save 7m

Workers at the UK's biggest water company are to be balloted for strikes over plans to axe 300 jobs.

The GMB union said its members at Thames Water would vote on whether to take action over the cuts and the threat of outsourcing of work to India.

The union claimed staff at the Swindon call centre were being "bullied" to agree to shift changes.

The firm denied the claim and blamed the cuts, which will affect services in Reading and Swindon, on the recession.

Compulsory redundancies have not been ruled out by Thames Water, which supplies 13.6m customers in London and the Thames Valley area.

The job cuts will save the company, which employs 5,000 staff across the UK, about 7m.

GMB official Mick Rix said the union's executive had expressed "extreme anger" about the job cuts and accused the firm of "bullying" workers.

The firm denied workers were being bullied and said the recession was reducing its revenue, partly because some customers were unable to pay bills.

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