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Unilever offloads IT staff to Accenture

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Accenture has won a seven year, multi-million pound deal to run the IT of washing powder giant Unilever, as part of the company's controversial "One Unilever" cost-cutting programme.

Accenture will provide application development, implementation, and support across Europe. Accenture will run Unilever's IT from six countries: France, Germany, Hungary, the Netherlands, Spain and the UK. The agreement is a "master services agreement" and local contracts have still to be signed.

In December last year, Unilever staff across Europe took a "day of action" to protest the company's plans to outsource human resources, IT and finance functions.

Unions feared these cost-cutting measures could translate into as many as 2,500 jobs lost.

A number of staff will move across to Accenture as part of the deal - "in accordance with local laws". Both firms will "work together to minimise the impact on staff wherever possible", according to the statement.

Calls to union Amicus were not returned by press time.

The Accenture press release is here. ®

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