Friday, 23 July 2010

Lights could go out if ScottishPower jobs are cut - UNISON

Date: Friday 23 July 2010

Plans by ScottishPower and Accenture to cut 200 IT jobs - half of them from East Kilbride - and offshore the work to India could result in the lights going out in the UK, UNISON warned today.

UNISON Regional Officer Gerry Crawley said:
"Not only is offshoring these jobs to India a betrayal of loyal and highly qualified UK workers, it is putting vital national infrastructure at risk. To move critical IT skills and knowledge, built up over decades to an offshore operation which has no experience of ScottishPower’s IT infrastructure and operations is highly risky.

"These skilled workers support systems which are vital in helping to 'keep the lights on' during major storms as well as systems which underpin safety critical operations for field staff and the public."

Accenture, a consultancy which has just won a 10 year $200 million contract to support vital IT systems for ScottishPower, plans to make 200 workers redundant in the UK and outsource the work to India in order to cut costs. More than half of the jobs under threat are in East Kilbride.

UNISON is calling on the companies to reconsider the job cuts.

Gerry Crawley said:
"We are challenging ScottishPower and Iberdrola to explain how these offshoring plans square with their legal obligations and undertakings to fulfil their license conditions and maintain a secure electricity supply."

Notes for editors:

1. Global outsourcing technology and consulting company Accenture has just won a 10 year contract worth around $200 million to support ScottishPower’s IT systems. Under Accenture's proposals 190 permanent employees and 14 contractors will lose their jobs, which is 60% of the UK workforce supporting ScottishPower's IT systems. More than half of the jobs at risk are based at Peel Park in East Kilbride with the remainder in Queensferry, North Wales. Scottish Power's IT workforce was outsourced in 2000 and over the last 6 years more than 100 jobs have been moved to India.

2. ScottishPower was acquired by Spanish energy company Iberdrola in 2006. ScottishPower made a pre-tax profit of over £760 million in 2009 which was enough to provide a £390 million dividend to Iberdrola.

3. UNISON is the main union in ScottishPower, representing around 2,000 staff.


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