Will the Guardian regret an alleged strategic outsourcing mistake?

Union Unite has criticised plans by Guardian News & Media (GNM) to outsource large numbers of staff to help it address problems cause by the economic crisis.

Here is a cut from the letter.

“If outsourcing goes ahead we believe that GNM management will have made a strategic mistake it will come to regret, one which its staff in their majority reject and which we believe you, it’s readers, would also question. We urge management to reconsider and sit down with Unite and the NUJ to discuss alternative ways of dealing with GNM’s current financial difficulties.”

Read the full letter from Unite’s John Stuttle that has been published on the Guardian website.

Also read a Computer Weekly article on the matter.

Join the conversation


Send me notifications when other members comment.

Please create a username to comment.

I dunno, I'm in two minds over this one.

On the one hand, I sympathise deeply with the Guardian's excellent IT staff as their history of innovation and commitment to their employer is rewarded (in the usual fashion) with them being treated as a mere commodity to be outsourced to the lowest bidder.

On the other hand, I seem to recall the Guardian publishing suggestions by George Monbiot that British workers cannot complain about outsourcing to India because Britain exploited India in the past:

"an historical restitution appears to be taking place, as hundreds of thousands of jobs, many of them good ones, flee to the economy we ruined..."


I don't know about George's ancestors, but mine were too busy being exploited by mill owners in Yorkshire to do much exploiting of India in the past, so I never felt especially inclined to condemn an entire generation of modern Britons to unemployment just to salve George's liberal conscience, but it seems the Guardian agrees with George.

Pehaps the smug Guardianistas who applauded (and indeed printed) George's asinine remarks in the past may feel a little less sanguine now that the job losses are coming closer to home.

Nice post Matt. Keep up the good work.


I don't think that losing jobs or where those jobs are going is the issue for Unit. There are enough staff willing to take voluntary redundancy to meet management targets and still leave room to out source uncovered tasks. The problem occurs when you do the whole thing without consultation and in effect make people redundant.

In any case GNM has spent years saving money by bringing services like scanning and developing in-house and having invested in people, skills and equipment, is now planning on throwing it all away.

Maybe I should mention that the Creative department was out sourced to a company part owned by GNM.