Barber calls for real consultation on offshoring

TUC
general secretary Brendan Barber wants "real consultation" between
employers and employees when businesses consider moving their call centres and
backroom processes to countries such as India.

Workers
should not be "just presented with a fait accompli… without a real
opportunity to test the case and weigh the different factors," Barber told
Personnel Today’s sister magazine Employers’ Law.

Barber
said he hopes the DTI will look at the extent to which offshoring is taking
place, the factors driving it, the elements that might inhibit it and potential
public policy issues.

He
said the economic and social risks to communities which lose employers because
of offshoring need to be fully understood, and potential aid pinpointed for
employees who could lose their jobs.

He
suggested, for example, that regional development agencies should have greater
involvement in providing retraining for displaced workers.

Barber
also believes that, after operations are outsourced, it is important for
British unions to ensure that employees in other parts of the world enjoy
proper working conditions, so that "a new operation isn’t being based on
exploitative labour conditions".

www.tuc.org.uk

The
full interview with Brendan Barber will appear in the March issue of Employers’
Law.
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