Workers at a Preston call centre fear they may be axed following the takeover by a rival business.
Staff at TalkTalk’s site at Tulketh Mill on Blackpool Road in the city said they feared they could be “thrown out” if they are not picked to transfer over to call centre operator, Careline, which is taking over running part of the site.
Union officials have warned they are prepared to take the company to tribunal if it fails to follow strict laws on transferring staff to the new operator.
Today, TalkTalk insisted it would work alongside employees to ensure as many staff as possible move over, but Careline has admitted it does not expect to take on all 250 workers.
One worker said: “We have basically been told that unless we are picked to move over to Careline, we have to take our chances.
“There are other jobs available within TalkTalk, but that could be Warrington or even further afield, and there are people here who cannot commit to travelling.
“What happens to them? They are just saying that there are opportunities for people within the group, no-one is getting any commitments.”
Another worker said staff had been “kept in the dark” for weeks before the announcement about the changes earlier this week.
She added: “We had heard for a while that things might be about to change, everyone knows that people are not spending as much money and that causes problems for anyone.
“Now we just have to wait and see what happens.”
Glenn Slater, of the Central and West Lancashire branch of the Communication Workers Union, said some of its members had been told that not accepting transfers to other TalkTalk sites would constitute them resigning.
He said that the union would be ensuring the employer “stuck to the letter” of TUPE laws which allow people to switch companies keeping the same terms and conditions.
He said: “If we do not feel that our members are being treated fairly, we will do whatever is necessary to defend them in the courts.”
In a statement, TalkTalk said that staff working in disconnections, cancellations and retention departments at Preston would make an immediate switch to Careline.
It added there were “significant new opportunities” for staff not subject to a transfer and said it would be working with staff to “maximise opportunities to transfer to new roles.”
The company said: “Formal consultation for those affected by the proposed changes will run for a period between 30 and 90 days, with the first collective consultation meetings beginning on 25th April.
“These will be followed by individual consultation meetings over the next week at which those affected will be given a clear picture of their options including opportunities for transfer.
“TalkTalk will also be providing a wide range of support services to employees throughout this period.”