BT has been accused of a “complete abandonment of the city and its loyal workforce” after it was confirmed it will close its New Telecom House base in Aberdeen within months.
The property, which is located next to the city’s railway station on College Street, is still currently in use by BT staff, but they only take up about 10% of the available space.
The telecommunications company has now confirmed it has made the “difficult decision” to close the offices, and they will be shut from November 20.
Around 140 BT employees are currently being consulted regarding their futures – in a move that has been branded “unforgivable” and “a hammer blow” by north-east politicians.
The company expects some staff to move to different roles, such as engineering, and some may move to work at the BT offices in Dundee.
It employs more than 400 people across the BT Group in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire.
Around 300 employees, primarily engineers, will not be impacted.
A BT spokesman said: “We’ve consulted with a small number of office-based colleagues and unions on our proposal to close New Telecom House, and a small number of other offices in Aberdeen.
“We only use about 10% of New Telecom House and the lease renewal is costly.
“We’ve carefully explored all the options, including whether colleagues could work from home permanently.
“We don’t believe this is a sustainable long-term option as we expect colleagues will be required to work flexibly between home and the office.
“We’ve made the difficult decision to close the offices.
“Our focus remains to help colleagues find roles within other BT Group sites, such as Dundee, which we announced as a key location in July.”
BT said there would be “no impact” on customers and plans to extend the full-fibre network in the area would be unaffected.
Aberdeen Central’s SNP MSP Kevin Stewart, however, said: “This is unforgivable from BT in what has been a complete abandonment of the city and its loyal workforce.
“The consultation was simply a box-ticking exercise and staff have been badly let down.
“They have worked so well from home throughout the pandemic but now they’ve been cut adrift.
“It is utterly ridiculous and completely unbelievable that a communications company claims it is unable to facilitate a home working network.
“BT must recognise that this situation is nonsensical, damages their reputation and betrays their loyal staff and they should sort this out now and retain jobs in Aberdeen and the north east.”
North-east regional MSP Liam Kerr added: “This is another hammer blow for Aberdeen.
“The staff at New Telecom House deserve better.
“Centralisation may save BT money but I believe more should have been done to keep these jobs local.
“The company must deliver a positive outcome for team members unable to suddenly move to Dundee, through no fault of their own.”