Department for Work and Pensions staff begin industrial action


Department for Work and Pensions staff begin industrial action

Karl Flinders

Workers at the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) in Newcastle, Sheffield and Lytham will today begin industrial action in protest against HP's plans to offshore 200 DWP jobs to Bangalore in India.

The plans were announced in June, when the Public and Commercial Services (PCS) union said it would not rule out industrial action.

The PCS union, which represents more than 2,000 members at HP in the UK, said the proposals had not yet been approved and would go to the Cabinet Office. But it warned that workers from Bangalore could be brought to the UK to gain the knowledge needed to do the jobs in August 2011. It said the jobs could be offshored as early as November 2011.

After a 92.5% vote in favour of industrial action, staff will refuse to co-operate with the process of exporting their work.

The union is questioning the economic benefits of offshoring the work and has raised concerns about the process that will see the personal details of millions of UK citizens shipped to India.

Separately, there is still uncertainty surrounding Birmingham City Council's decision to offshore jobs to India. After an initial announcement, a strong public backlash forced the council to re-evaluate the decision.


Photo: Thinkstock

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