Capita IT staff strike over Indian offshoring plans

In a ballot for industrial action, Capita Unite union members have voted to strike following the disclosure of proposals to offshore work to India

Capita Unite union members are to strike following proposals to offshore work to India.

The dispute centres around four sites employing 220 staff in Reading, Craigforth, Birmingham and Bournemouth. The affected sites serve Prudential Phoenix and Abbey Life customers, said the union.

David Fleming, Unite national officer, said: “Capita IT staff have voted for industrial action out of anger at Capita’s plans to send skilled work abroad. Once the skilled jobs are offshored from local communities they never return, which leaves a damaging impact on local economies.

“Unite members are determined to oppose the plan to send their jobs to India and cut other UK jobs and Unite is calling on Capita's clients to veto the plans.” 

But Capita said the move was necessary to maintain its position in the marketplace, optimise operational efficiency and continue to enhance service delivery.

“Since 30 March 2012, we have been undertaking a consultation process involving employees about a proposal to move limited elements of our work activity to our existing IT services operation in India,” it said in a statement.

“This consultation process is not yet complete and we are disappointed that 84 employees who are members of Unite – 2% of the entire IT Services workforce - have voted in favour of industrial action,” said the outsourcer."

Unite said it is meeting Capita IT Services management today (14 August) and will call on Capita to withdraw its proposals if the company wants to avoid industrial action. If the talks fail, Unite will agree strike dates and action short of a strike on Thursday.

This is not the first time Capita has come under fire for proposals to offshore work. Last year, Birmingham City Council's joint venture with Capita to offshore work to 55 Indian IT staff was put on hold following a public backlash.

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