Shell expected to slash 3,200 IT jobs
Oil firm 'loath' to confirm number
Oil giant Royal Dutch Shell has told its staff that it plans to make more than 3,000 job cuts.
According to a leaked memo to its staff from Shell's vice president of IT infrastructure Goh Swee Chen, the firm has been in talks with outsourcing outfits EDS, AT&T and T-systems, and said that contracts were expected to be inked in March.
She told Shell employees: "I acknowledge that there will still be uncertainty as we are working through the finalisation of contracts, open resourcing and transition preparations. I encourage you to keep an open mind and take the time to learn more about the suppliers as employers and as business partners."
The Register broke the story that Shell planned to offshore thousands of jobs in 2004.
We reported that almost 3,000 jobs in the firm's IT department could go abroad as part of Shell's cost-saving project, dubbed ITVision.
A Shell spokeswoman told us today that she was unable to comment on whether the cuts cited today were in addition to 2004's job cull.
She said that the Anglo-Dutch firm, as part of its $850m per annum like-for-like cost savings Infrastructure Sourcing Program (ISP) that first kicked off a few years ago, was continuing to look at ways of tightening the belt.
Shell had intended to reduce its headcount by 3,000 by the end of 2006. This suggests that the memo, which was published on anti-Shell website Royaldutchshellplc.com, in fact points to a new round of job cuts.
When pushed on whether or not Shell could provide a definitive figure on how many of its workers could be affected by the cuts, the spokeswoman said: "I can't confirm the number and I'm loath to comment on any number."
Royaldutchshellplc.com reckoned that around 3,200 jobs looked set to be outsourced, and that staff can expect to find out their fate in letters from the firm at some point this month. ®
Ah the joys
As someone who has been through the mill, albeit with a bank rather than an oil-giant, I can only too happily confirm the stories about what is lost of which foremost is the goodwill of the staff being sold on (or is that TUPE'd).
To make matters worse, IT was not even all outsourced to one company and so what little there was that did continue working soon became unusable as routine work on kit and normal lifetime upgrades became subject to a 'whose turn is it to make the bucks' fight.
After a couple of years we were all bought back with exactly the same justification used as when we were sold.
Anon from shame as given the chance to jump and run I whimped out.
Question for "Welcome my new corporate overlord"
In response to "let me clear up the popular misconception"
Did you never notice the style of deal where an outsourcing giant will swallow up staff, run the operations for 6 months from the UK then claim that no money can be made so the work should be shipped oversea's to an army of waiting Engineers?
I'll say your right, on day 1 of the new deal most people will still be in the UK, just don't assume the same on day 180 or day 365.
Oh, for a New Gusher/Virgin Well.
"Internally, most people think it's a bad idea to outsource core IT because it is in fact core business on the Exploration and Production side. It's just the higher-ups who want to seem proactive."
I would agree that it is a bad idea, AC, but with no one higher-up with any new ideas, what else to do? Looking busy rearranging deck-chairs/training native proxies doesn't look so bad whenever there is nothing in the pipeline/the store cupboard is empty/the boss is compromised/the fiddle exposed/the natives are restless.