Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/03/06/westpac_offshores_tech_roles/

Westpac drops tech roles

Tech sector gloomy, boardroom happy

By Natalie Apostolou

Posted in Business, 6th March 2012 21:56 GMT

Westpac continues to slash jobs as part of its offshoring initiatives, revealing that it will cull a further 119 technology roles, most of which will be awarded to India’s Infosys.

The job cuts follow on from the recent dismantling of 188 positions in November and 560 in February. The bank is in hot water with unions and industry for the practice of bringing in lesser paid contract employees from India, training them in Australia for three to six week courses and then returning them to be employed in equivalent positions at third party companies.

Westpac said it has “an $AU8.3 million budget this year for redeployment and training as many people as possible into new roles”.

According to Human Resources magazine, the disparity in wages is stark: an equivalent Australian job positioned at $AU60,000 - $AU90,000 annually can be filled at $AU7,000 - $AU9,000 annually offshore.

The Financial Services Union (FSU) has called on the bank to respect the rights of employees impacted by job slashing announcements.

Complaints have been lodged with State and Federal Governments and politicians have begun meeting with FSU members to hear first hand the impact of job slashing and offshoring.

The union plans to hold paid time workplace meetings with affected employees to discuss the impact of the latest proposals and develop responses including alternatives to put to the bank over the next few days.

It has also called on Westpac to provide assurances that: no Westpac employee should be forced to be redundant; no-one should be forced to train the offshore provider that is replacing local jobs; jobs should not be offshored when the skills and the employees are already here doing the work well.

“It's a huge insult for the Australian workers to be told that not only are we going to take your job off you, but before we do that, we're going to require you to train an offshore replacement,” Geoff Derrick from the Financial Sector Union, said. ®