Prudential employees, based in Reading, are being balloted for strike action over plans to outsource about 75 jobs dealing with annuities to India.
Staff, members of Unite, the country’s largest union, will start voting from Monday (1 August), for industrial action, including strike action, over the proposal to outsource back office annuity work to Mumbai. The ballot closes on Monday 15 August.
The union strongly deplores the potential loss of these jobs, which are mainly full-time, out of a total Prudential workforce in the Berkshire town of about 800. The intention is to retain 12 jobs in Reading dealing with other related annuity work.
Unite contrasts the £2 million that will be allegedly saved by these job losses, with the four highly paid senior appointments recently made by Prudential UK and Europe chief executive, John Foley.
Unite regional officer Ian Methven said: “We dispute the alleged savings and the assumptions that are behind them. We note, with a degree of cynicism, the salaries recently splashed out on four senior executives appointed by Prudential boss John Foley.
“We don’t accept that you can only improve efficiencies by moving work to Mumbai and it is impossible to see how losing over 500 years of collective knowledge and experience in Reading won’t have an adverse impact on customer/client relations.
“Unite submitted a counter proposal asking the company to stop the outsourcing and to engage constructively with Unite and our members on how the Reading employees can deliver efficiencies, while retaining the knowledge and experience - but this was rejected.
“These proposals make no business sense at all. The cost savings are questionable and the risk to customer relations is great.
“We see no reason why Prudential is looking to lose this many highly skilled customer service employees in the quest to make this comparatively small level of alleged savings.
“We urge the company to withdraw its proposals and sit down with Unite on how we can use the existing skills to improve the service currently provided to Prudential customers.”
Notes to editors:
For more information please contact Unite press office on 020 3371 2065 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with over 1.4 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.