Friday, October 9, 2009

National Grid to outsource work to TCS

S Kalyana Ramanathan / London October 09, 2009

UK-based electricity and gas company National Grid today said it has decided to outsource some its back office administrative support services to Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) in India, even as the workers’ union represented by GMB protested this move.

After months of negotiation with the union representatives, National Grid today said it had decided to outsource some of its “Shared Services” to TCS in India. The value of this order bagged by TCS is not known yet.

The job losses at National Grid on account of this could be around 300. A company spokesperson said the consultation process with the affected employees will start soon and employees who can be accommodated into other functions and departments would not have to lose their jobs. However, there will be some compulsory job losses, and the company will help those affected find alternative jobs.

Steve Noonan, director of UK Shared Services at National Grid, said: “We recognise that these are sensitive and difficult times for those employees affected by the result of the review. However, National Grid has a great track record in looking after its employees through change. We strongly encourage staff to take up positions elsewhere in the company and to investigate retraining for other available roles. And for those who choose to leave the company, we offer generous severance packages, and we provide outplacement support to help them find alternative work.”

A statement from the union said it will not accept that National Grid, which makes multi-billion profits as a monopoly supplier, has the right to export these jobs from the UK at a time of very high unemployment across the land.

According to union estimates, the company’s Newcastle site will be closed with a loss of 189 jobs in total, of which 163 are permanent jobs. The other 137 job losses will be at the Warwick and Northampton sites. The Newcastle jobs are being outsourced to India.

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