Unions threaten strike action over HSBC offshoring

Unions threaten strike action over HSBC offshoring

Financial services union Unifi is threatening strike action at HSBC amid mounting unrest among members at the movement of thousands of UK jobs to cheap overseas centres in Asia.

The union, which made the announcement at its annual conference, will meet with senior reps at HSBC this weekend to consider industrial action following the 3500 job losses announced by the bank earlier this month, which include further offshoring plans.

These latest job cuts are in addition to 4000 call centre and back office processing positions HSBC plans to transfer to overseas centres in Asia over the next three years, which was announced last October.

Unifi says it expects its members to back a call for industrial action, which could include a work to rule and an overtime ban. The union says there is increasing unrest amongst branch staff at HSBC, who are being asked to rectify mistakes made at the company's global centres despite facing the possibility of losing their jobs due to offshoring.

David Fleming, Amicus national officer, comments: "You can almost taste the anger amongst workers 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."

The union is also planning a series of meetings targetting each of the high street banks which will take place throughout the summer following on from the HSBC meeting.

Unifi merged with white collar union Amicus this month to create the largest finance union in the UK with 250,000 members in banking, insurance and business services. Rob O'Neil, Unify national secretary, says: "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."

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