Steria faces strike action over plans to transfer IT jobs to India

French IT services firm Steria faces industrial action over its plans to transfer jobs working on a contract with the Co-operative banking group to India.

Trade union Unite is to ballot its members at Steria following the company’s announcement of plans to make more than 30 compulsory redundancies among Manchester IT staff working for Co-operative Financial Services (CFS), according to Personnel Today’s sister publication Computer Weekly.

Richard Lynch, Unite negotiating officer, said: “These cutbacks bring to 90 the number of voluntary or compulsory redundancies in the Steria CFS account since the summer, and we fear that there may be more over the coming period.

“We will resist these redundancies in any way we can, including by industrial action if necessary. We consider it neither fair nor ethical that loyal and committed staff should be forced out of their jobs, particularly at a time of rapidly-rising unemployment, so that companies can boost their profits by getting more and more work done abroad.”

Andrea Hawkins, HR manager at Steria UK, said: “Steria’s management teams are making strenuous efforts to make sure that the risks of compulsory redundancies are reduced and that alternative positions are identified for those at risk.

“We are disappointed that in this instance Unite have felt it necessary to ballot members on the Co-operative Financial Services site. Steria is in close talks with Unite and redundancies are identified not in terms of potential profit, but in the real business context of making this business unit more competitive and streamlined, thereby safeguarding other crucial UK-based roles.”

The UK posts identified as at risk of redundancy represented 0.6% of the groups 5,000-strong UK workforce, she said.

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