Feeds

Union talks up offshoring dangers to UK economy

HP PCS members vote for industrial action over job cuts

High performance access to file storage

The Public and Commercial Services Union is warning that a wave of private sector jobs will inevitably move offshore as the government forces IT suppliers to cut costs.

At the start of this week, PCS members working at HP voted in favour of industrial action over plans to axe 200 staff in the north-east working on the Adams 2 contract for the Department of Work and Pensions and outsource their functions to India.

"We think this is a sign of things to come," national press officer Richard Simcox told The Reg. "The government is caught between its desire to cut spending and force contractors to cut costs."

In a ballot of HP staff, more than 90 per cent of the turnout (47.2 per cent) voted for industrial action short of a strike, with the aim to disrupt the knowledge transfer set to take place this month when staff from India liaise with their UK counterparts.

PCS said at this stage the government and HP were not showing signs of wanting to resolve the issue but hopes the action will "focus the minds".

North-east MPs last month weighed into the scuffle to add pressure on the government to safeguard the HP workers, pointing out the obvious impact of job cuts on the local economy but also the potential data security implications.

There are 25 million records on the DWP national database including details on benefit payments that would be handled by the staff in India. Both the Cabinet Office and DWP have to ratify the deal before it goes ahead.

In a written response to questions raised in the House of Commons by Tyneside Northeast MP Mary Glindon, PM David Cameron last month agreed that "British employers should employ British workers".

But he said DWP IT services were under contract by a number of suppliers of which HP was one and that the agreement allowed for the provision of some services from outside the UK.

"We are looking closely at the DWP's approach to the offshoring work by its suppliers with the aim of minimising any impact on the UK jobs market," said Cameron.

Simcox, of the PCS, said the government giving IT corporations the green light to outsource UK jobs abroad, "blows a hole in their argument that the private sector will step up and provide the jobs being cut in the public sector".

An HP spokesperson said: "We have begun consultation on the proposed transfer of some roles to our operations in India effective in 2012, subject to final client approval. This relates to work at a small number of sites in the UK. We are working to redeploy staff affected into other roles within HP and are optimistic that we can avoid compulsory redundancies." ®

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

More from The Register

next story
Putin tells Snowden: Russia conducts no US-style mass surveillance
Gov't is too broke for that, Russian prez says
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
Record labels sue Pandora over vintage song royalties
Companies want payout on recordings made before 1972
Lavabit loses contempt of court appeal over protecting Snowden, customers
Judges rule complaints about government power are too little, too late
MtGox chief Karpelès refuses to come to US for g-men's grilling
Bitcoin baron says he needs another lawyer for FinCEN chat
Don't let no-hire pact suit witnesses call Steve Jobs a bullyboy, plead Apple and Google
'Irrelevant' character evidence should be excluded – lawyers
Edward Snowden on his Putin TV appearance: 'Why all the criticism?'
Denies Q&A cameo was meant to slam US, big-up Russia
Judge halts spread of zombie Nortel patents to Texas in Google trial
Epic Rockstar patent war to be waged in California
EFF: Feds plan to put 52 MILLION FACES into recognition database
System would identify faces as part of biometrics collection
Ex-Tony Blair adviser is new top boss at UK spy-hive GCHQ
Robert Hannigan to replace Sir Iain Lobban in the autumn
prev story

Whitepapers

SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.