BT employees oppose move to India

By SiliconIndia   |   Thursday, 20 February 2003, 08:00 Hrs
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BT Group Plc, Britain's former telecoms monopoly, has said in a statement that its plan to move 700 call center jobs to India is faced by strike threats from union officials, and said that it is in the process of reassuring its employees.

LONDON: Forced to cut costs to boost profits despite stagnant revenue growth, BT, however, is not keen on shutting down call centers in Britain if it decided to move some work abroad.

"In line with sensible business practice, we will always review our operations to help us provide our customers with the best standard of service at the most competitive cost," the company said in a statement.

According to a news agency, Jeannie Drake, director general of the communication workers union, has written to 3,500 BT workers to say the union would resist "by all means possible" the move of jobs out of the UK.

"BT wants to transfer 700 jobs in directory enquiries to New Delhi. They call this 'remote sourcing'," the union said, adding it would consider industrial action to stop the move.

BT would become just the latest large British company to ship call centre jobs to India, where salaries are often a fifth of those in Britain and workers are relatively high-skilled.

But Drake feared that the 700 agency jobs which could be lost, equal to about 28 percent of the overall directory enquiries workforce, might just be the start.

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