Opinion Former Article

PCS: Jobs saved as government contractor abandons offshore plan

More than 200 UK jobs have been saved after a campaign by the Public and Commercial Services union forced government contractor Hewlett Packard to abandon plans to offshore work to India.

The company wanted to offshore the work, which involves the maintenance of the records of millions of people for the Department for Work and Pensions, and had started a process called the 'knowledge transfer'. It was the first time a government contractor had proposed sending the live records of so many people overseas.

PCS members working at HP sites in Newcastle, Lytham and Sheffield voted almost unanimously for industrial action earlier this summer and had been refusing to co-operate with the transfer of their work to Bangalore.

The union maintained that, as well as the threat to jobs, the proposals represented a risk to the security of what is very sensitive and valuable information about people's benefits.

Because of the data security issues, the plans were subject to approval by the DWP and the Cabinet Office.

PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka said: "This is very good news for our members who have campaigned hard on this and been rewarded with saving their jobs.

"But it also means that the very real concerns we raised about data security have been listened to, and we are pleased that ministers have seen sense."

ENDS

 

Notes

 

- For information and interview requests contact PCS national press officer Richard Simcox on 020 7801 2747 or 07833 978216

- The Public and Commercial Services union represents civil and public servants in central government. It has around 300,000 members in over 200 departments and agencies, and in parts of government transferred to the private sector. PCS is the UK's sixth largest union and is affiliated to the TUC. The general secretary is Mark Serwotka and the president is Janice Godrich - on Twitter @janicegodrich

- Follow PCS on Twitter @pcs_union

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