Finance workers threaten action over offshoring

Jul 02 2004 by Brian Amble Print This Article

Anger over the offshoring of financial services jobs to India and elsewhere looks set to explode after members of the giant Amicus union voted at its annual conference to adopt an "any means necessary strategy" to raise its concerns over executive pay, pensions and job losses.

The move comes amid growing unrest amongst branch staff at HSBC who claim that they are being asked to rectify mistakes made at the company's global centres despite facing the possibility of losing their jobs due to offshoring.

HSBC has recently announced it will be cutting a further 3,500 jobs in the UK on top of the 4,000 jobs it began to transferring overseas late last year.

Last month, Amicus merged with Unifi to form a 250,000-strong single union. Unifi says it expects its members to back a call for industrial action against HSBC, including a work to rule and an overtime ban

David Fleming, Amicus national officer, said: "You can almost taste the anger amongst workers who have seen executive pay and benefits go through the roof and have paid for it with wage freezes, pension scheme cuts and the fear that their job is going to be offshored half way round the world."

Rob O'Neil, Unifi national secretary, said: "Following the merger with Amicus, unifi's members are growing in confidence that their union has the muscle needed to campaign more effectively on this issue and to ensure that any action they take can be successful."

The union is planning a series of meetings throughout the summer targeting each of the high street banks. The vote on action by HSBC staff will take place on 3rd July.