Prudential staff have voted to take industrial action following the announcement that the company will be offshoring skilled jobs to Mumbai. The Unite members based in Reading, voted 97% in favour of industrial action over plans to offshore some 81 jobs dealing with annuities to India.
The union strongly deplores the loss of these jobs, which are mainly full-time. Unite has presented the company with an alternative business plan to make cost savings in this area and urge them to reopen discussions with Unite on this issue.
Unite contrasts the £2 million that will be allegedly saved by these job being sent to India, with the four highly paid senior appointments recently made by Prudential UK and Europe chief executive, John Foley.
The Prudential employees have voted "not to co-operate or undertake any work related to Project Jupiter” which is the plan to offshore work from the Reading site. Unite understands that this will severely delay the transfer of work to Mumbai.
Unite regional officer Ian Methven said: “Unite members have been left with no choice but to take action in order to protect their jobs. The union has challenged the alleged cost savings and the assumptions that are behind the transfer of 81 jobs to India.
“These proposals make no business sense at all. The cost savings are questionable and the risk to customer relations is great. There are alternative ways of saving money in this area and we urge Prudential to think again about the offshoring of this skilled work.
“Unite does not 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.
“The union has presented a counter proposal asking the company to stop the offshoring and to engage constructively with Unite and our members on how the Reading employees can deliver efficiencies, while retaining the knowledge and experience.
“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.”
The Prudential plan to offshore work, entitled ‘Project Jupiter’ is the moving of individual annuities servicing and bereavement work from Reading to Mumbai. Prudential has approximately 1.4m annuities customers that would require these services at some point in the life cycle of their products. The actual work-types involved are: overseas payments, overpayments, bereavements, enquiries, tax, power of attorney, bankruptcy, joint life annuities and guarantee annuities. This work has just started on migrating overseas payments with the last work type guarantee due to be completed by March 2017.
For further information contact Saba Edwards, Unite senior communications officer on: 07768 693 953.
Notes to editors
As part of this industrial action staff will not be doing the following work linked to the annuities transfer:
- auditing of Mumbai auditors
- answering emails
- answering telephone queries
- answering Instant Messaging questions
- technical Referrals from Mumbai
- creating/amending BPMs
- creating/amending checklists
- amending of Template Letters
- auditing of processers
- and no coaching.
The action will start from: Wednesday 31st August 2016.
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.