Vodafone is to transfer 600 staff and sell its Warrington call centre to Indian-owned contact centre company HEROtsc.
Up to 20 jobs are at risk at Vodafone's call centre following the deal which will see HEROtsc in a long term contract to run Vodafone's high value customer care business from theWarrington call centre.
A Vodafone spokeswoman said: 'There is likely to be twenty jobs at risk and we will do what we can to provide different opportunities.'
She added that the partnership was a long term relationship between Vodafone and HEROtsc.
The Communication Workers Union condemned the deal and Vodafone's decision to inform staff of the move over the tannoy system at the call centre.
CWU Vodafone Organiser Neil Singh said: 'This has come as a bit of a shock to call centre staff in Warrington and to announce it over the tannoy system is outrageous. Over the past few months there has been a cost-cutting program, including job losses and the removal of bonuses at the site, but it now seems that this was done in preparation to sell the site off to HEROtsc.'
He told Mobile: 'The fact that this is an Indian owned company raises concerns that these jobs could eventually be transferred overseas.'
Vodafone's Warrington call centre employees reacted angrily. One said: 'To treat people this way, especially long serving loyal employees is a smack in the face. A thirty minute tannoy message to tell them that they have sold them to another company with no offer of redundancy, like it or leave with nothing after twenty plus years, is disgraceful.'
Another call centre source said: 'Employees have been told customer care will shift from high value customers for retention to pay-as-you-talk customers.'
However David Turner, HEROtsc's CEO insisted the Warrington call centre would continue to deal with post pay, high value customers.
HEROtsc said in a statement said it had formed a partnership with Vodafone to take on the ownership and running of Vodafone's Warrington call centre as 'part of ongoing activities to simplify Vodafone's business while delivering outstanding customer services across the UKs best network.'
David Turner said: 'This is a significant development in both the mobile and the contact centre markets and enables us to offer a long term future for the Vodafone employees who will be transferring to HEROtsc.'