NCR slammed over Dundee job cuts and cheap labour claims

NCR slammed over Dundee job cuts and cheap labour claims

Ohio-based NCR has been accused of paying staff transferred from India to its ATM manufacturing plant in Dundee, Scotland, well below the minimum wage and then axing 51 jobs at the site.

The vendor - which cut 627 jobs at the centre last year - is accused by Dundee West MP Jim McGovern of basing the salaries of 10 Indian workers at the plant on their "home country" pay - well below Britain's minimum wage.

McGovern has questioned the legality of the move and also insists the 10 posts could have been filled within the Dundee area as there are people who possess the necessary skills locally.

Says McGovern: "I will be looking into NCR's behaviour very closely and will be taking advice on the legality of this move to employ 10 foreign nationals when Dundee has a more than adequate skills base for this work, in addition to the legality of the decision to employ men and women from India on their home salary."

The company says the Indian workers are at the Dundee site for training and not to replace any of the staff being made redundant. "We believe we are complying with the national minimum aage requirements," says the firm in a statement, adding that it is part of "normal operations" to bring employees from various global sites to work temporarily at the product introduction manufacturing facility in Dundee.

Union Unite says it is concerned about "the exploitation of the Indian workers", who are working at the Dundee site on a temporary basis.

"NCR's claim that they have to bring in labour from India because of the skills shortage within the Dundee area is nonsense and insulting." adds Gillian McKay, regional official, Unite. "To bring in workers from India and exploit them by paying them much lower wages than UK workers is not only wrong for the migrant workers but it also drives down labour costs by the back door. It is simply outrageous."

Commenting on the 51 job losses, Unite accused NCR of reneging on assurances given to the Dundee workforce and criticised the firm for telling employees they would be made redundant without following the agreed consultation procedure.

However, NCR says it is following the correct consultation process and has notified engineering, financial software engineering, product management, supply line management, IT support and manufacturing staff that they are at risk of redundancy, subject to the 30-day consultation with the employee representative group and employees.

The American vendor cut 627 Dundee jobs last year as part of a restructuring of global ATM manufacturing operations in an effort to cut costs. The company has looked to move manufacturing to cheaper locations, opening an ATM manufacturing plant in Budapest, Hungary at the end of 2005.

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