Unions seek talks in IBM contracts

Union leaders have written to IBM requesting clarification of controversial changes to its staff contracts. IBM is threatening to...

Union leaders have written to IBM requesting clarification of controversial changes to its staff contracts. IBM is threatening to sack hundreds of its employees unless they sign new contracts that slash overtime rates.

According to union leaders, the rate cut means some staff in the strategic outsourcing section of IBM Global Services could be worse off by at least £5,000 a year.

Under the new pay regime, which came into force in May, stand-by rates to compensate employees for being on-call during unsociable hours will be £2 an hour.

Peter Skyte, national secretary of Amicus MSF, said he requested further information from local IBM offices on the changes to the overtime rates but had not received a reply.

"At present this affects one part of IBM but it could be extended across the company. It is riding roughshod over staff without any attempt to consult on the changes," he said.

Skyte also warned that other companies may follow IBM's example and cut pay rates for IT employees across the UK.

Staff working at the Warwick, Manchester and Portsmouth offices of the strategic outsourcing section of IBM are understood to be affected by the changes.

IBM declined to comment on the issue.

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