GMB calls on Migration Advisory Committee to investigate AA over outsourcing to India
GMB, the union for staff working at the AA, is writing to the Migration Advisory Committee asking for an investigation into possible visa abuse as the AA begins the process of outsourcing jobs to India. GMB has learned that the AA are planning to make 80 of the current IT staff, based in Basingstoke, redundant. (See notes to editors for a copy of the letter)
GMB understands that staff from Indian IT outsourcing firms Cognizant and Zansar Technologies are currently in the Basingstoke office learning how the AA’s IT systems work.
Last month GMB publicly expressed fears of a wholesale migration of 1,850 jobs in Newcastle, Oldbury, West Midlands and Cheadle, Stockport after the company announced that the computer systems had been upgraded and GMB feared that this would enable the jobs to be moved. (See notes to editors for previous press release)
Earlier this year GMB also drew attention to visa abuses as BA began outsourcing IT jobs to India. (See notes to editors for previous press release)
Paul Grafton, GMB regional organiser said, “Last month GMB warned that there is a real danger of the AA shipping jobs to India to reduce cost to pay interest on the £2.8 billion debts racked up by the previous private equity owners.
There are 20 managers working for either Indian IT outsourcing firms Cognizant or Zensar Technologies who were shipped over from India and are currently in local hotels in Basingstoke, being trained on the AA systems. Meanwhile the UK based workers face the sack. All of this when the IT department were aware India staff were being trained by the AA whilst IT staff worked upstairs.
It looks like all front desk operations will be outsourced in phases, call centres being the last.
GMB want the Migration Advisory Committee to investigate whether the visa system is being abused by AA management so that they can bring workers into the UK to be trained to take the jobs of workers based in the UK.”
Contact: Paul Grafton on 07714 239092 or Paul Maloney on 07801 343839
Notes to editors
1 Letter to the Migration Advisory Committee
Dear Sir David Metcalf
I am writing to you as a Regional Organiser of the GMB Trade Union to ask your committee to investigate whether the Automobile Association is abusing the visa system and the circumstances around staff being brought in from India.
The AA are planning on making 80 of the current IT staff, based at the AA offices in Basingstoke, redundant. At the same time, 20 managers from Indian IT outsourcing firms Cognizant and Zansar Technologies are in the same office being trained on how the IT systems work. We believe this is the first stage of large scale redundancies within the AA nationally as jobs will be shipped to India.
GMB would like to know whether the visa system is being abused by the AA, allowing workers from Indian companies to be brought in, and trained on systems they clearly do not know about, which will then lead to skilled IT jobs being moved overseas leaving UK based workers made redundant.
GMB Regional Organiser
2 GMB Press Released dated 29 September 2016
GMB FEARS THE AA WILL MOVE CALL CENTRE JOBS TO INDIAN JOINT VENTURE COMPANY FOLLOWING ROLL OUT OF NEW IT SYSTEMS
The AA need to reassure GMB members that it will not close any centres, will keep or increase its current staffing levels and will continue to invest in the UK says GMB
GMB, the union for staff in the AA, are increasingly concerned that call centre jobs in Newcastle upon Tyne, Oldbury and Cheadle will be relocated to India. This follows the statement in the Interim Results released yesterday (28 September) that they are rolling out their new system to deploy staff.
GMB fears this could threaten IT and call centre jobs with 700 jobs in Newcastle upon Tyne, 600 in Oldbury, West Midlands and 550 in Cheadle, Stockport being at risk as the new venture will have the capability to handle all AA breakdown and insurance calls from India. A further 140 job losses are expected with the closure of the AA training centre in Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire.
The AA took a 49% share of the Indian joint venture set up in July 2015 with the Indian company TVS Automobile Solutions, for an investment of £4m for an initial term of 4 years.
Paul Grafton GMB Regional Organiser said “The AA need to reassure GMB members that it will not close any centres, will keep or increase its current staffing levels and will continue to invest in the UK market protecting the 115 year brand and jobs for UK workers.
The Joint Venture company will soon have the ability to handle all the AA breakdown and insurance calls in India having just completed updating their computer systems. The new software programme called AA Help 2 has the ability to undertake worldwide distributing work from any geographical location.
The AA has been saddled with colossal debts due to private equity owners ravaging the company for money since 2005 and has continually struggled to repay the debts. The AA need to look at what it pays out to Senior Management in wages, shares and bonuses as the company simply cannot afford to continually carry the billions it owes to the banks.”
2 GMB Press Released dated 6 April 2016
GMB Calls On Home Affairs Select Committee To Investigate Tata Abuse Of Visa System
Tata can’t be allowed to flout visa rules to put British Airways workers out of a job says GMB.
Tata, the company putting thousands of jobs at risk by selling off its UK steel business, is today the subject of a letter from GMB, on the behalf of British Airways workers, calling for an investigation into the company’s use of visas for foreign workers. (See notes to editors for a copy of the letter and GMB press releases about the Migration Advisory Committee).
In the letter to the Home Affairs Select Committee, GMB questioned whether workers at Tata subsidiary Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) are eligible for the Tier 2 visas used to employ foreign workers in the UK. It goes on to point out that TCS is in breach of immigration rules by paying workers as little as £10,000 per annum, when Home Office rules require a minimum yearly wage of £24,800 or the ‘appropriate rate’ (whichever is higher).
The letter follows a report from the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) which reported on the misuse of Tier 2 visas in January. The Home Secretary, Theresa May, is yet to respond to communications from GMB.
BA plans to outsource most of its IT services to Indian company TCS leading to the loss of up to 800 highly skilled jobs in West London. While much of the work is planned to be carried out in India, the outsourcing rests on TCS’s ability to bring a number of Indian workers ‘air side’.
Mick Rix, GMB national officer, said “British Airways are using Tata – the company putting the future of British steel at risk – to put the livelihoods of hundreds more people in West London on the line and they’re doing it to make a few extra quid on top of their already large profits.
BA and Tata are shipping hundreds of well-paid skilled jobs to India and using loopholes in the visa system to do it.
The Home Secretary and the Home Affairs Select Committee must investigate what’s happening here before we lose vital skills, jobs and training opportunities in our economy. Tata can’t be allowed to flout visa rules to put British Airways workers out of a job.”