back to article MP brands 1,600 CSC layoffs as the 'worst excesses of capitalism'

The British government must wake up to service delivery implications of the latest mega-layoff scheming at CSC given the number of sensitive public sector contracts held, and work with the business and others to "root out the worst excesses of capitalism". Or so Toby Perkins, Labour MP for Chesterfield, argued during a House …

  1. Locky Silver badge

    "Built on a foundation of trust and transformation"

    I guess that slogan won, only slightly ahead of the second favourite, "Built on a foundation of loose sand and broken promises"

    1. TitterYeNot

      Re: "Built on a foundation of trust and transformation"

      "I guess that slogan won, only slightly ahead of the second favourite, "Built on a foundation of loose sand and broken promises""

      Yes, the PR department wouldn't let them use the original version:-

      "Built on a foundation of trebles all round for the senior management team and a resounding 'Fuck You' to the workforce"...

      1. MyffyW Silver badge

        Re: "Built on a foundation of trust and transformation"

        On the plus side El Reg adverts have invited me to become an Avon rep.

        Gig economy here I come....

    2. Mpeler
      Mushroom

      Re: "Built on a foundation of trust and transformation"

      "The spin merger of CSC and HPE ES can be seen as two failing businesses coming together to create an even bigger failing business."
      Now, where have we seen HP involved with something like that before?

      Oh, yes.

      The sound of two garbage trucks colliding. Compaq merger.

      Some folks never learn.

      Anymore, they're just a bunch of DX, C...

      1. Lotaresco Silver badge

        Re: "Built on a foundation of trust and transformation"

        HPE ES and CSC merging possibly ranks only second to LIGO observation GW150914 in which two massive black holes collided to produce something that really sucks.

  2. smudge Silver badge
    Facepalm

    DXC

    Great choice of name!

    "O, I wish I was in the land of cotton

    Old times there are not forgotten

    Look away! Look away!

    Look away! Dixie Land."

    "Since the advent of the Civil Rights Movement, many have identified the lyrics of the song with the iconography and ideology of the Old South. Today, "Dixie" is sometimes considered offensive, and its critics link the act of singing it to sympathy for slavery or racial separation in the American South."

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: DXC

      " its critics link the act of singing it to sympathy for slavery or racial separation in the American South."

      No doubt - people say stupid things all the time.

      I would say most the people who would sing that song now are just clueless. That's why everyone should carry shovels to add a little percussion to the tune - empty skulls give off a wonderful drum like tone.

      1. damnYank

        Re: DXC

        Can't believe the name "¢heaPeople" lost out. I think it's just pronounced "diks".

    2. Marketing Hack Silver badge

      Re: DXC

      DXC might also be a reference to the famous Dixie paper cup. "Our commitment to you is as durable as DXC!"

    3. FrankAlphaXII Silver badge

      Re: DXC

      Yeah, sure. And it was also written by a man from Ohio while he was in NYC. He eventually wrote the US Army's fife and drum manual and was rather pissed off about the Confederate States government and army using his song.

      So yeah, real Southern there, huh?

      And if you're going to rip off Wikipedia, at least link it or cite it.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Whistling DXC

      Oh, I wish I wasn't in the land of the glutton,

      Good old times they are forgotten.

      Run away! Run away! Run away! From DXC Land

      In DXC's Land, where I was merged in,

      early on one April mornin'.

      Run away! Run away! Run away! From DXC Land

      I wish I wasn't in DXC, Hooray! Hooray!

      In DXC's Land my career will turn to sand,

      to live and die in DXC.

      Away, away, away it all goes south in DXC!

      Away, away, away it all goes south in DXC!

      There's too many employees, ones that don't matter,

      It makes Mike fat or a little fatter.

      Run away! Run away! Run away! From DXC Land

  3. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

    Time to start changing the contracts

    To mandate that the service must be delivered using UK Based staff AND that those staff must be UK/EU Residents (add BREXIT Clause here) and that no less than 5% of the workforce engaged on the contract can come from outside the UK/EU (add BREXIT Clause here). That last one stops the Indian Body shoppers from bringing staff over on indentured contracts and paying them a pittance.

    Then watch the likes of CSC, Crapita etc squirm as no one in their right minds would want to work for them ever again.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Time to start changing the contracts

      Why not mandate that all PII data for UK citizens should be held within the UK and only processed by vetted employs.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Time to start changing the contracts

        Perfectly reasonable - The NZ government does exactly that (I know because I'm currently working on a contract for them and had to be vetted by NZ government to join the team).

        1. John Smith 19 Gold badge
          Unhappy

          "The NZ government does exactly that "

          The usual answer is of course "But, but that will mean we can't make obscene profits off our customers the most cost effective deal"

          I'd like to find out how an "NZ only" surcharge adds to the cost of the contract

          My suspicion is "Not as much as the outsources would claim and not as much as the govt thinks."

    2. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      "no less than 5% of the workforce"

      You certainly meant no more than 5% can come from abroad, unless you are actually endorsing a massive influx of 95% of the workforce being hired from India, China, Hong-Kong or South Korea.

      Given the beginning of your post, I doubt that is the case.

      1. Ragarath

        Re: "no less than 5% of the workforce"

        Yes, that would be good and I agree. The problem though is people paying for the service. They will no doubt say (even if found to be untrue) that supplying the services will cost more that way. Then comes a price hike.

        Will they pay the price hike or as seems the want of everything now-a-days go for the lowest price?

        1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

          Re: "no less than 5% of the workforce"

          Yes there would be a price hike. The Wages (salary/NI) would go back to HMG so offsetting the cost of bringing back the service to the UK.

          Didn't some call centres move back last year because it wasn't making economic sense?

          If HMG mandated that the service had to be delivered here and the staff paying UK Taxes/NI then I'm sure the voters would accept a small price rise.

          The big issue is the obscene salaries of those at the top. Even the NHS is not immune from this.

        2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: "no less than 5% of the workforce"

          "Will they pay the price hike or as seems the want of everything now-a-days go for the lowest price?"

          They could save money by engaging freelancers instead. Instead, that is, of pissing them off with IR35.

    3. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Time to start changing the contracts

      "no less than 5% of the workforce engaged on the contract can come from outside"

      Less?

  4. wolfetone Silver badge

    Shock and surprise here: The Government don't give a shit about it.

    Why? Well why would they? 8 years of incompetence after a decade of further incompetence building and buillding on the shoulders of incompetence since around the early 1970's. The Government exists to serve itself. It doesn't serve the people. Oh no, we're only useful every 5 years when they need us to give them the same job they screwed up in the previous term.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    They want the job done as cheaply as possible with reasonable expectation of quality. They're looking out for taxpayers. Exactly the same as every company that outsources knowing jobs will go in the process.

    Then people get all surprised that Donald Trump and Brexit. Go figure.

    1. tfewster Silver badge
      Facepalm

      FTFY

      They want the job done as cheaply as possible but have no idea what it entails, so don't realise the service is going to be crap.

      If the gov/company cared about their employees, they wouldn't be selling them off to an outsourcer

  6. ToddRundgrensUtopia

    @Tony Perkins

    1. Most global gov contractors have taken the piss for years and will continue to do so

    2. Gov civil servants hate change, so revert to 1.

    3. Why on earth would you listen to anything Unite has to say?

    4. Capitalism isn't bad in itself, but if you allow it to happen people will take you to the cleaners, as in 1. above

    5. Gov when it changes comes up with the IR35 debacle, which mean more of 1. above

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Add point 2.5

      Civil servants that think there should be change find it almost impossible to find anyone willing to sign it off or multiple parts of government in parallel responsibility.

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        "Civil servants that think there should be change find it almost impossible to find anyone willing to sign it off or multiple parts of government in parallel responsibility."

        Actually the converse is true. Govts keep changing what they want to do and after the contract's been awarded changes mean CASH.

    2. billse10

      3.5 because they are an entirely unbiased source of Truth ?

      6. There is a group of people who could do something about the items above, but have made the decision not to. This behaviour is similar to that described in 1, above, but at a more local level.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "top management are going to walk away with even more millions of dollars in businesses when the merger completes."

    I get increasingly left wing as I get older, but I'm not that pink really, a lot of Corbynism is way too left for me (last time I voted, it was for the blairite Liz Kendal : Didn't bother last time).

    However, sentences like the one I pasted in at the to sum up a lot of the modern business world. Cuts are made, people get laid off, conditions get worse, cheap labour is sought. People work harder, get less and are generally more miserable. And the end result seems to be that the folks at the very top seem to run away with all the money.

    1. MyffyW Silver badge

      @nick_rampant well said. Continually depressed at the fact there seems to be no credible party arguing for those of us in regular jobs who year-by-year are seeing our salaries eroded and our conditions made worse. Not that I'm too fussed about top folk making plenty of money, just that their position is whole lot more sustainable if (in percentage terms) we get lifted too.

      Neither Corbyn Nor May but ..... [insert coherent ideology here.]

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Corbynism

      If you actually listen to what he says, rather than what the media says he says, he's not quite as extreme as you might think. And if you listen to what he's saying he will do (as distinct from his own personal beliefs) it makes even more sense: e.g. he is personally anti-nuclear but believes he should defer to the majority wishes of his party and retain both a nuclear deterrent and nuclear generation.

      My hobby is chatting to random other dog walkers about politics on a very general level, without mentioning names or parties. More than half of people I have spoken to said that they think the NHS should get a massive boost and that the power and train companies should be re-nationalised. Then I tell them they should form a new party, because they are too left wing for Labour ... :-)

      1. MyffyW Silver badge

        Re:RonnieCorbettism

        So... as I was saying to the Producer "We must secure for the workers by hand and by brain...." but at that point he'd fallen asleep, his forehead resting in his fish supper and his nose blowing bubbles in the mushy peas.

      2. Blotto Bronze badge
        Thumb Down

        Re: Corbynism

        @AC

        are you talking about Trump or Corbie?

    3. John Smith 19 Gold badge
      Unhappy

      "the end result...the folks at the very top seem to run away with all the money."

      Yes that seems to be the key driving force for this merger as well.

      Somewhere in time shareholders forgot 3 things.

      1) They own the company.

      2) The managers are (probably) their highest paid employees.

      3) The business should be being run for the shareholders benefit, since they are its ultimate owners.

      Somewhere in time those manager starting thinking it was run for their exclusive benefit and the shareholders could (frankly) go f**k themselves.

      And without enforced laws and shareholders who give a s**t (probably not pension funds who in the UK are notorious for not giving a s**t) this will continue.

  8. adam payne Silver badge

    Perkins concluded: "Although the tale of CSC's recent past includes rounds of redundancies, lost contracts, service failures and missed profit targets, followed by further redundancies and the whole cycle repeating itself, one area of CSC's business has seemed to grow. Many government contracts paid for by UK tax money are now being serviced by huge offshoring operations in India.

    I would have thought that anyone working with government data would need to be security vetted. Is this not the case? how good is the security vetting in India?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      security vetted

      according to a guy I know who works on the nhs contract, they "scrub" the data then send it to india for processing... my contract isn't supposed to let india see the data, but they've been told to cut costs and nobody has kicked up a fuss... so its off to the factory of barely sentient drones

      another government contract i know about, flies guys in from india for 90 days stints...cheaper than the local work force, i suspect this also gets around a no offshoring clause

      the entire company right now is in a mad dash to make people vanish by the 1st of April... make up any bs excuse to rate people below the threshold to keep them... rinse and repeat until we have enough cash to make 15% profit

  9. s. pam
    FAIL

    Are they trying to race Crapita & Gr4s?

    To who can provide the most crap service with the least number of heads whilst holding the government hostage the most?

  10. MudFever

    The 'worst excesses of capitalism'

    Just market forces and capitalism working as it should. British jobs must be part of the contract, but expect to pay more.

    Never forget: the bitterness of poor quality is remembered long after the sweetness of low price has faded from memory. You get what you pay for.

    1. sawatts

      Re: The 'worst excesses of capitalism'

      I've never understood why Government contracts only (seem to) consider the money charged by the contractor, and not what would be recovered through taxation where those monies are paid to UK tax payers and residents.

      I recall an estimate that monies paid as wages for UK jobs would circulate approximately four times through the local economy - so the treasure would collect four lots of income tax and VAT. If this is still accurate, then the government should be recovering approximately £80 for every £100 paid on a pure UK-based contract (naive calculation).

      I assume I must be missing something here...?

      1. BebopWeBop Silver badge

        Re: The 'worst excesses of capitalism'

        I don't know the exact figure - but in a similar vein, look at government fondness for exorbitant PFI contacts, anything to get current (financial year) spending down and bugger the next few years.

        1. strum Silver badge

          Re: The 'worst excesses of capitalism'

          >government fondness for exorbitant PFI contacts

          More to do with Public Sector Borrowing Requirement figures - regarded, by the money markets, as the signal for down-rating the pound. Even though borrowing would be much cheaper than PFI.

    2. Graham 25

      Re: The 'worst excesses of capitalism'

      "the bitterness of poor quality is remembered long after"

      Yes, some of us with longer memories remember thats what you got asking the Uk workers to deliver.

      People should not assume that if its delivered from the UK, that it will be of a better quality. The only thing you can be certain about is that it will cost more and there will be more industrial action.

  11. not.known@this.address Bronze badge
    Gimp

    Completely Screwing Colleagues

    Years ago I worked for CSC and, at the time, they had lots of posters like the alleged 'motivational' ones featuring inspirational phrases on pictures of landscapes etc, and they all had three-word phrases that started with C, S and C.

    For some reason, the most accurate ones always disappeared when anyone from Head Office came to visit...

    Comprehensively Screwing Customers

    Cowboys Selling Computing

    Can't Support (this was either Customers or Computers, depending on how let-down we were feeling)

    Completely Stupid Cretins (this was on a meeting room image and someone had added the EMEA's head to the meeting's chairman).

    Given how fast Managers with no IT or engineering skills were promoted and any technically-inclined managers were moved sideways and then down, I'm surprised there's anyone except trained monkeys and beancounters left...

    1. John Smith 19 Gold badge
      Unhappy

      "Comprehensively Screwing Customers"

      CSC is a one stop solutions provider*

      *Yeah that's right. They'll do you in all your holes.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    cost cutting

    The latest round of cost cutting isn't restricted to laying off all our best people. They have pretty much imposed a travel ban (about 3-5 layers of approval required for any travel whatsoever, which progresses at a rate of approximately a week per layer). As a result, my client has noted my general absence from site and I have charged only the hours I can absolutely justify (it's not very amenable to remote working).

    So now it's "Why are you only billing part time? It's a full time project." I could have grossed several thousands of pounds more, had I been allowed to expense a few hundreds of pounds of travel. And here comes another self-congratulatory, frankly even masturbatory, email from on high saying how much money they are saving with travel restrictions, and how they should proceed with it. A return 2nd class train journey to London now requires sign off from the head of the UK company himself --- no wonder he's too busy to actually do any work.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: cost cutting

      It's the same in HPE (or whatever the small chunk of us that are merging with CSC shortly are currently called). no travel without major approval, not even allowed to purchase mice or keyboards (seriously, we were actually told that). and at the same time we have an all hands meeting saying how well our division is doing. a week after they completed yet another round of Voluntary Redundancies. El Reg is right about HPE standing for Helping People Exit.

      as for contracts, anyone working on certain UK GOV contracts is supposed to be a UK national and have Security Clearance.

      and considering how incredibly useless the internal IT is, and how hopeless the service is from our Indian call centres, it may as well not exist. if you run into a problem, just accept it, and hope it goes away on its own.

      makes for a "fun and dynamic" working environment

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: cost cutting

      There are similar travel restrictions at HPE. I recently needed to travel to a customer meeting. This needed 5 separate approvals, including a L3 Manager (i.e. two levels down from Meg). This was mileage only in my car, for which I get 11p a mile. The trip was 40 miles and so cost the grand total of £4.40...

      The word "madness" doesn't really do this situation justice. Perhaps the people who think this stuff up should look up "opportunity cost" in the dictionary.

  13. Potemkine Silver badge

    You've got what you pay for

    How many people here want CSC use UK staff only and at the same time want to pay less taxes?

    Cost killings in taxes also have consequences.

    1. Red Bren
      Boffin

      Re: You've got what you pay for

      When CSC or whoever quote for a job, do you really think they pass on the full savings from offshoring? They just have to make the tender look cheaper up front than doing it locally in-house and pocket the rest.

      Meanwhile the UK former staff are now claming benefits instead of paying taxes and spending in the wider economy, putting a deflationary pressure on wages and a heavier tax burden on those still in work.

      So yes, I want CSC to use UK workers so I can pay less tax.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    CSC are crap, I'm not sure what they do, "have you tried switching it off and on again".

    Once in a while come round and make a big meal deal about installing some software. I work in a place that engineers use their own laptops to work on, because the crap given to them and maintained by CSC is really for the landfill.

  15. TVU Silver badge

    "MP brands 1,600 CSC layoffs as the 'worst excesses of capitalism'"

    But when did a British government (of whatever colour/composition) actually do something about these grotesque excesses?

  16. Allonymous Coward

    Another thing

    Oftentimes, the UK GOV senior management responsible for managing the contracts have come from private sector consultancies themselves. Sometimes, they end up back there.

    Draw your own conclusions about whether that counts as cronyism. But at best it probably constrains them to certain ways of thinking. So it's not entirely surprising UK GOV contracts end up like they do, and it's not entirely surprising UK GOV doesn't always seem to particularly care.

  17. TheBorg

    Race to the bottom of IT service companies - cash quick for the 12 directors !

    The offshore team in HPE are dire, i expect the same for CSC

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "The offshore team in HPE are dire, i expect the same for CSC"

      Utterly horrendous. As an architect who last coded professionally over a decade ago, I could see within an hour that the Indian self-styled "senior software architects" were producing some of the fugliest code I have ever seen in my life.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        fugliest code I have ever seen in my

        I recently reviewed the code produced by the senior Indian on the team and he laughed at all the issue I raised about it. The rest of the team make copy and paste code ... and do a bad job of it

      2. MercArchitect

        Some of the offshore testers came onto our project... 36 man wks, they produced a 40 test document... but didn't perform a single test. About sums up their capability.

  18. doug_bostrom

    As usual, private enterprise converges on "customer just sufficiently alive to keep paying." Helps when there's no actual competition for job. Ask Lockheed.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Dont forget the HPE job destruction

    HPE are currently executing 800 job cuts in the UK alone, timed to complete on 29th March, all ordered ahead of the CSC takeover.

    There will also be a further $1bn in synergies, read job losses, in the year from 1st April. That was announced by Nefkens using his new favourite word 'inventory', the DXC euphemism for people.

    Me? I'm gone in this round and feel ok about it now. After all when HPE ITO have has big cuts in 29 of the last 30 quarters only a fool would think it wasn't a matter of time.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Dont forget the HPE job destruction

      Had my compulsory exit meeting on Monday. The weasel word self justification for it all at the start made me smile. The HPE / CSC marriage will sire an uglier child, with a predominantly Indian accent. Good luck to those clients that are poor at maintaining risk registers.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Sayonara

    I escaped from CSC 18mnths ago - and it was bad then.

    From continued contact it seems to have got worse as many have posted.

    Problems were/are

    Management by diktat from ML - All management just jump and pass on the crap (akin Trump/WH now)

    No interest in the customer or employee beyond "can they pay the invoice" / "will they complete their TES"

    Few on client side have the knowledge or spine to challenge CSC on what they are doing - just pay up and lap up

    CSC (and I guess new DXC ) will just milk the client then ...melt away

    Many L1/L2 maybe L3/L4 will do well .... Everyone else Offshore include will just get thrown under the bus

    Few winners - Many losers

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Sayonara

      Very similar situation at HPE; they are both large, centralised US-based corporates.

      Hundreds of so-called "senior leaders" who are, in reality, just managers who do as they're told from above. Again, Meg rules by diktat, handing down thunderbolts, with managers then joining in and using all the current buzzwords.

      No interest in customer or employee - check.

      First few levels of management will do OK out of this; lower management layers will no doubt suffer.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    iSoft

    Now, I wonder if the iSoft suite of products will be abandoned?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: iSoft

      The big one (Which starts with L) won't die, it's starting to get to the original vision, still lots of hiccups experienced by NHS staff and it needs improving in many places, but I don't think there is any staff left to sort those kinds of problems out. I think they keep getting rid of UK staff at any cost. Besides technical people, various specialists we are being let go as well and it takes quite a lot to learn all parts of the solution. Clinical safety staff is down to under four for the whole organization. There's lots of new requests and extra functionality being added but not enough staff to do all the changes, good managers are going. All these changes and improvements need signing off.

      Upper management (Tier 1-2) think the product is completed so they think they are riding a wave and "why do we have all these UK people and why are they eating my profit margin mentality!", however all the "fat" (Excess people) from previous nine redundancy rounds has been eliminated, and now it's all muscle and brains leaving. They are really riding a Tsunami, and it will break in under six months. People remaining on the account were scared that the account will implode, and the government seems clueless that these people look after 14 large trusts and over 3.5 Million UK Citizens. How is this not a national security issue? How can government be manipulated like so? Why is there 40-100 million in bonuses being talked about for getting rid of the CSC and HP staff? Isn't this kind of money a driving force for corruption by multiple layers of management (who will get nice bonuses for forcing people out of the door even if the people are really needed).

      Why was Ford mentioned at Prime Ministers Questions, but not CSC which looks after lots of core Government & National Security infrastructure not ? Why hasn't CEO : John Michael Lawrie been summoned to a Parliament committee to explain his actions and deep belief that UK staff are far to expensive for his profit margin ? They charge top UK prices and get the work done offshore to increase the margin. Why rush so much and take all that risk?. Would be nice to see figures. Plus questions that many MP's & civil servants ponder all the time.

      This has to do with getting a share value up for manipulation before the HPe merge then going crazy and hiring a load of Indians to get them out of the nightmare that will be the future. The UK books looked good before I left, so the UK not being profitable is a joke.

  22. someDamnYank
    Pirate

    Wait until they get going. If you are lucky, you are one of the 11% left on-shore, sitting with the 10% they rotate on-shore, from the 89% they moved off-shore.

    1. damnYank

      Scary

      That kind of momentum tends to become self perpetuating.

  23. MercArchitect

    Watching the whole mess unfold from the inside is truly horrible. One day you're working with a PM, the next they are given garden leave and are gone within the hour with no handover.

    I expect the fallout from this latest round of "resource streamlining" will have implications for the rest of the year on several of the major UK contracts...

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