MP in call for meeting over Flintshire IT job loss fears

Reporter:

Andrew Boyd

CALLS are being made for an urgent meeting to help safeguard the future of dozens of Deeside IT jobs.

Alyn and Deeside MP Mark Tami has received a letter from Accenture, assuring him the company’s site in Pentre, Queensferry, will not be closed.

But Mr Tami remains concerned about the future of 69 staff, who, it is feared, could see their jobs moved to India along with more than 100 of the company’s Scottish-based employees as part of a restructuring programme.

He said: “I am seeking an urgent meeting with the company to secure an assurance that no compulsory redundancies will result from their operational changes.

“I want no compulsory redundancies while the company is considering ‘offshoring’ work. The Deeside workforce has been a loyal and hard working group, who deserve to be treated better.”

Irish-based Accenture provides IT services for Scottish Power, with union officials believing the company wishes to save £10 million a year through operational changes. Earlier this year the current ScottishPower workforce of 300 was transferred to Accenture from the previous service provider, SAIC.

In the letter to Mr Tami, Accenture managing director David Thomlinson wrote: “As you know, Accenture was selected to take over the running of aspects of Scottish power’s IT services earlier this year.

“As a result, on April 1, 337 employees transferred from the previous provider SAIC to Accenture. Sixty-nine of these employees are based at the site in your constituency.

“We are exploring all potential avenues including a reduction in the use of contractors, redeployment of employees to other client work and voluntary redundancies in an effort to minimise any compulsory redundancies.

“We have no current plans to discontinue operations at the Queensferry site.”

During the initial revelations about the potential job losses last month, Prospect negotiator Malcolm Currie revealed members were “angry and disappointed” at plans to outsource work to India.

He added: “This is not the consequence of UK skills shortages, but an attempt to save money by getting the work done more cheaply overseas.

“It makes no sense to lose vital skills and a loyal workforce in areas that have already been hard hit by the recession, yet these measures will take around £10m a year out of the UK economy.”

See full story in the Leader

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