back to article Union warns of strike action against HP

Around 200 Hewlett-Packard workers who provide IT services support to the Department for Work and Pensions in the North of England could see their jobs move overseas before the year is out. That's the claim being made by the Public and Commercial Services Union, which represents 2,000 HP staff in the UK. Proposals to offshore …

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Screwed

If the UK government allows this to go ahead then the UK IT industry is utterly screwed.

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What's so special about this one?

Thousands of IT jobs have been offshored. The UK IT industry still exists.

The Market for IT staff managing offshored teams is healthy. There are plenty of jobs in fixed offshored work or taking back offshored work.

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Pirate

What's so special about this one ...

is that until now, data held about you by the Government has been held and processed in this country on the grounds of data security, If HP get agreement to transfer this data overseas then every other company with an outsourcing contract will be looking to send the data that they hold about you overseas for all the usual reasons. This troubles me for two reasons, the first being that ir repesrents a hell of a lot of jobs, but the second reason is that it represents a hell of a lot of data that I would rather be processed by people to whom there is legal recourse if they leak it. Is it's offshore and out of reach and your tax records get published to whole wide word, I want the person doing the leaking susceptible to getting their arse imprisoned in this country, rather than sitting somewhere with no extradition treaty thimbing their nose at us.

We tell the government an awful lot of stuff about ourselves. Who do want looking after that information? If my bank screws up and leaks left right and centre from a call centre in foreign parts I can move my account, I don't have that choice with HMRC, the DoH, the Border Agency any other government department that holds senitive information about me,

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What's so special about this one?

"Thousands of IT jobs have been offshored. The UK IT industry still exists."

And thousands of people die in road accidents, but other people still live. I guess that it's not special to you until it's one of yours?

"The Market for IT staff managing offshored teams is healthy."

I see. You know where there are 200 jobs managing offshored teams?

What is actually special about this one, is that HP are probably saying that they are doing it to "save money" for the tax payer, but the union can then ask; how much does it actually save the tax payer? They will have to employ the overseas people, pay for the links to connect them to the UK, still pay for people here to manage them. PLUS the tax payer pays for the people who used to do the job, to sit at home while the 200 of them chase the job market for "IT staff managing offshored teams "

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Spot on...

"What is actually special about this one, is that HP are probably saying that they are doing it to "save money" for the tax payer"

Yup. The tax payer in this case being HP.

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Anonymous Coward

well, speaking as a manager of offshore teams....

"The Market for IT staff managing offshored teams is healthy" - dream on. Speaking as someone who works for a large IT shop, I'm seeing that now that the work has been sent offshore, the management of the work is going there too. The only roles left are Project Managers to co-ordinate the teams. Where once you had an onshore team of 100, you now have only 5 or so onshore PMs.

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Meh

Generic Union Dis-comprehension

"would be overshadowed by the costs to the taxpayer"

"government must not allow low-paid jobs to be offshored"

"It will be a disaster for UK workers and the taxpayer"

"will only ensure that Hewlett Packard's shareholders reap the benefits"

The usual communitarist mode. Money for shareholders is "ungood" (fact is that's what the whole show is about, fact is that money is taxed, then invested/spent somewhere), it's the gov's role to micromanage jobs or tell private entities what to do (the Fabrikvorsteher will see you now) and the poor "taxpayer" is invoked as there may be costs for expensive "social programs" - however these should already have been paid for earlier through taxes that HP paid, money which hasn't gone into the pockets of the "workers" but in the "social programs" trough, btw.

Of course, a strike will solve that, no problem.

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Anonymous Coward

You are Ayn Rand

And I claim my £5.

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Death of UK IT

http://www.theregister.co.uk/Design/graphics/icons/comment/it_angle_32.png It appears to be happening more and more, I just finished a short contract with a company doing the same thing off-shoring its IT - lots of very unhappy locals, and more unskilled off-shoreres than you could shake a stick at, I am sure there were skill ones as well but not that I could see!

BTW has there ever been an impartial study as to the benefits or not to offshore - is it just the fact that the offshore workforce is so cheap that it works in the eyes of the bean counters, or is it the fact that offshore companies can take existing inefficient IT departments and run with them rather than the UK companies doing some radical restructuring.

Come on government pull your finger out, this has to stop, before the IT profession and any innovation is killed off in the UK.

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Holmes

Following The Hurd

This is just a continuation of the Hurd era strategy. More than likely older more expensive workers are the ones that will be cut.

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Paris Hilton

Utterly Screwed?

Much as it does affect me, why are people working within the UK IT industry surprised by this development? If making (or supporting) widgets here in the UK costs 10x as much as it would in India or other developed countries it surely shouldn't come as a big surprise that those who control the purse strings seek to maximise their profits and reduce their overheads by moving the work overseas.

In the good old days of making steam engines the costs of shipping the work overseas would be enormous, as you can't just send the work down the phone line like you can in IT.

Perhaps in favour of this situation might be the news that if reducing the overhead for managing the pension pot is reduced then that can only be a good thing for the UK population. Would you want your pension reduced so as to support workers earning a decent wage in the UK?

Writing is on the wall for the IT industry chaps, might be worth seeing what other careers might be worth following up on.

And Paris because someone mentioned being screwed.

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it is the Union workers fault

they price themself out of the market PERIOD.

Union is killing the economy, not offshore job

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FAIL

orly?

Heh. Tell that to the people in the UK, employed in IT in Lloyds Banking Group who are being removed from their jobs every week, and replaced with overseas 'talent'.

It's not the Union that's dismissing the workers.

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Anonymous Coward

That is absolutely nuts

Isn't that the craziest thing anyone ever heard from a security point of view?

It is one thing having an offshored bank team having access to your financial data (there are controls in place to prevent abuse), but how long will it take for sysadmin A in bangalore to export that sql database with ALL your personal pension related info, and sell it to spammers/marketers etc...

This will make the lost discs incident look like a drop in the ocean...

If this happens, this is the end of gov security in this country... DWP first, MOJ next???

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FAIL

Except the customer doesn't have a choice

Working for a government organisation here in France, which has tens of millions euros in HP gear, from basic desktops to Superdomes and huge blade farms. We've seen pretty much all the support services we pay for being outsourced to Tunisia and India, and HP certainly didn't ask whether we were happy with that or not. It has started with the call handling facilities for h/w repairs, but now the whole tech support for their Intel line of product has moved to Tunisia. And it really sucks. The level of expertise and experience of the people we now deal with has dropped dramatically. I've more or less entirely given up opening calls for software support because software support has become completely useless. Repairs are a nightmare, with qualification being plain wrong more than 50% of the time. I sometimes end up fighting with people on the phone because I know what part needs to be replaced better than they do, but they insist on ordering the wrong ones.

Switching vendors? Sure, that might eventually happen, but the whole infrastructure currently is HP, when all the people are trained to HP's hardware, to their software, that would cost a whole lot. So our only recourse now is applying penalties to them when they fail to deliver to the terms of the support contracts.

As far as I'm concerned, HP can die. Their abysmal quality of support has costed me too many hours of sleep (among other things).

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simple solution

Provide an option for customers to be able to opt put of having their data seen by anyone outside of the EU. This would shut down outsourcing overnight.

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Boffin

@ian45

Yes indeed my friend, although I would respectfully propose to make the default setting "opt out of outsourcing".

As a prospective HP client I could then be offered the option to opt IN to the 'deliberate outsourcing of my personal and private data to an effectively unregulated and/or unknown foreign location where MY first language is the operators third'. Obviously I would expect there to be a reduction in the level of service available to me but, inextricably linked to that, I should also see an improved financial incentive resulting from this deft avoidance of current UK legislation, safety requirements, insurances, human rights issues, basic living standards, minimum working hours (and indeed age) etc... and since it is ME who will be expected to endure the reduced service and only MY data being put at risk, it should be ME (and ME ALONE) who receives any and all benefits that result from opting in.

End of.

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Anonymous Coward

Plans to send 100 Birmingham City Council IT jobs India

It's not just central government, Birmingham City Council wants to be the first local council to move 100 IT jobs to India -

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-13631914

In this case there will be no savings for the taxpayer a because the company that runs these services is a Joint Venture with Capita, the jobs have already been outsourced, it'll just mean more profit for Capita

If this goes ahead more jobs will follow..

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Department for Work and Pensions?

I guess if that is what this department does, then they will be successful. For they found work for some Indian chaps, and now some of your British folks can see if their pension works out well, also.

My apologies for sounding callous here, but I am only acknowledging that your country and mine (USA) have fallen victim to elected officials being in power and making decisions which are not in the best interest of the people whom they are charged with serving. So sad.

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FAIL

the problem

indivudual expectation

vs actual outpt

vs non sustainable idiotic social system

don't worry though the chinese and indian sources are starting to buy property now so....

"at the expense of cash in hand we are giving away our land"

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