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British Airways, IT staff job cuts, an outsourcing biz ... you get the point

Airline techies 'at risk' of redundo to protest over plan to contract Tata Consultancy

Techies working at British Airways are staging a protest at the airline's corporate HQ over plans to outsource and offshore work to Tata Consultancy Services.

According to the GMB trade union, which is organising a 15-minute walk from the corporation’s head office in West London to a local hotel on 29 February, all 900 of BA’s IT workers are at risk of redundancy.

Gary Pearce, London regional officer at GMB, estimated between 200 to 300 BA techies will be walking the walk. “I’ve spoken to a large number of staff that are outraged at BA’s plans”, he told The Register.

The “staged outsourcing” is impacting the airline’s staff across the UK, including the call centre in Newcastle and locations in Manchester, Cardiff and Scotland, as well as London.

The economic impact and potential security implications were causes for concern, the union said.

Pearce also claimed BA intended to apply for temporary Tier Two visas for TCS staff coming to the UK from India to complete work in Heathrow terminal.

“BA can only use this visa when there is a shortage of staff. We think they are in breach of regulations and we’ll challenge them on this,” he claimed.

All of this comes after BA parent the International Airlines Group reported bumper operating profit of €1.76bn for the first nine months of 2015 versus €1.048bn in the prior year period.

The union claimed BA wants to charge customers a “high price for a premium service” but “with a cost base of a low cost carrier”. Basically, the company wants to have its cake and eat it.

GMB will take a view of its membership’s appetite to take industrial action. “it’s distinct possibility”, Pearce warned.

We asked BA for comment and will update if and when they reply. ®

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