Socialist Worker

Steria IT workers vote to fight job cuts

Issue No. 2128

Workers at the Steria company in Manchester and Skelmersdale have voted to take industrial action against plans to impose compulsory redundancies and outsource jobs to India.

The workers, who are members of the Unite union, provide IT support to Co‑operative Financial Services. Thirty one of them face compulsory redundancies.

Some 71 percent of workers voted for strike action in a ballot, while 89 percent voted for action short of a strike.

A Steria worker told Socialist Worker, “Workers at Skelmersdale have only recently won trade union recognition. The mood is confident and they think they can take industrial action.”

Unite was set to meet management on Tuesday of this week in a last-ditch attempt to stop the job losses. If management refuse, the union is set to call action.

Meanwhile, workers at Steria’s Barclaycard operation in Northampton are calling for industrial action to win the reinstatement of Mike Cummins, a union rep who was sacked on 4 November.

Mike’s offence was to allow his wife to use an internal telephone number to pay her credit card bill on a day that the Barclaycard’s internet and telephone payment systems were undergoing technical difficulties.

He was dismissed despite 15 years of unblemished service with Barclaycard and Steria. “Mike has admitted that his actions were wrong,” said the Steria worker. “But the mood among workers is that his sacking was over the top.

“As soon as Mike was sacked the union organised a mass meeting of 98 people in a bargaining unit of 180.

“This voted unanimously that we should be balloted for industrial action unless Mike is reinstated.

“This comes after the compulsory redundancy of Julie Hague, a senior rep in Steria’s Boots account, and the threatened compulsory redundancy of Chris Martin, the senior rep at Co-operative Financial Services.

“There is no doubt that a significant section of people at work see Mike’s dismissal as an attack on the union.”

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Article information

Tue 18 Nov 2008, 19:32 GMT
Issue No. 2128
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