Co-op and Steria face industrial action over IT jobs

French IT services company Steria faces industrial action over its plans to transfer to India jobs on a contract with...

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

The trade union, Unite, is to ballot its members in 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).

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."

The result of the ballot is expected on 10 November.

In a statement, Steria said: "Steria in the UK is constantly and consistently reviewing efficiencies and strategy to ensure we deliver value on all of our client accounts in the UK.
"The challenge of continually delivering an industrious, leaner business model for our clients and their customers is crucial in today's economic environment. 
"As part of that programme our Co-operative Financial Services account has been reviewed to ensure we strive to develop and maintain our high levels of competitive service and efficiencies.
"A very small number of UK posts have been identified as at risk of redundancy. This represents just 0.6% of our 5,000 UK workforce.
"Steria is an employer of choice for many people who chose a career in our industry. 
"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."

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