Feeds

BT threatened with 75,000 strike action

Union angry about Indian outsourcing trial

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Build a business case: developing custom apps

BT has been threatened with strike action over a trial outsourcing scheme it is running with a company in India. The ten-week trial will see Indian workers in Mumbai take on back-office data entry tasks. If deemed successful, BT says the move will only affect 25 workers in the UK, all of whom will be retrained for other jobs at the telco.

However, the Communication Workers Union, which represents 75,000 BT employees, sees the trial as the thin end of the wedge and claims it is a threat to British jobs. "Our concerns are for the future," a CWU spokesman told us. "If it goes on it could cause enormous problems."

The attraction of outsourcing is obvious and, allied with the low cost of labour in India, BT can expect to make large cost savings. If the practicalities of shifting large amounts of paperwork to the sub-continent are solved, further outsourcing would be a simple choice.

The CWU is demanding the trial be stopped and so had threatened a strike - although its spokesman admitted it is little more than a warning shot.

A BT spokesman told us the company does not envisage firing any staff and while the company cannot rule out future outsourcing projects, it would consult with the unions all the way. CWU is "over reacting", he told us.

"That's a little disingenuous," CWU told us. "If this is a trial, what is it a trial for? Why would it stop at just one project?"

Just this week, British Airways also came under fire for using cheap Indian labour to cut costs when it admitted at least 100 IT staff would not have their contracts renewed. ®

Related Story

Half of British Airways staff to get push

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
Video of US journalist 'beheading' pulled from social media
Yanked footage featured British-accented attacker and US journo James Foley
Kate Bush: Don't make me HAVE CONTACT with your iPHONE
Can't face sea of wobbling fondle implements. What happened to lighters, eh?
Caught red-handed: UK cops, PCSOs, specials behaving badly… on social media
No Mr Fuzz, don't ask a crime victim to be your pal on Facebook
Ballmer leaves Microsoft board to spend more time with his b-balls
From Clippy to Clippers: Hi, I see you're running an NBA team now ...
Amazon takes swipe at PayPal, Square with card reader for mobes
Etailer plans to undercut rivals with low transaction fee offer
Microsoft exits climate denier lobby group
ALEC will have to do without Redmond, it seems
Assange™: Hey world, I'M STILL HERE, ignore that Snowden guy
Press conference: ME ME ME ME ME ME ME (cont'd pg 94)
Call of Duty daddy considers launching own movie studio
Activision Blizzard might like quality control of a CoD film
US regulators OK sale of IBM's x86 server biz to Lenovo
Now all that remains is for gov't offices to ban the boxes
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.