Lancashire TelegraphEast Lancashire call centre staff told to move to India to keep jobs (From Lancashire Telegraph)

When news happens, text LT and your photos and videos to 80360. Or contact us by email or phone.

East Lancashire call centre staff told to move to India to keep jobs

Lancashire Telegraph: East Lancashire call centre staff told to move to India to keep jobs East Lancashire call centre staff told to move to India to keep jobs

BOSSES at an East Lancashire call centre told staff that they could relocate to India to keep their jobs, an employment tribunal has been told.

Around 250 staff were sacked by outsourcing giant Sitel in November 2012 after employees were told the company had lost a major contract with the holiday website Expedia and the work was being exported to Bangalore.

Around 115 are now claiming unfair dismissal from Sitel, over their employment at Accrington's Globe Centre, in a class action being heard in Manchester.

Part-time worker Joanne Fenton, from Darwen, said she had been 'quite distressed' to turn up for work and find the call centre was empty.

The tribunal heard she had missed an initial announcement informing staff, on August 31, that the Expedia contract was set to be lost and a 90-day redundancy consultant was underway.

Operations manager Anthony Brittain, from Burnley, said he would have liked to have sat on the employees forum but was told there were no spaces for senior management.

He also complained that he was not offered a one-on-one consultation about his future — and that Expedia had originally offered to continue the contract until February 2013. Laura Sanderson, of Oswaldtwistle, another part-time worker who studied at university, said she was only offered her one-on-one meeting before she started work at 5pm.

But Colin Bourne, representing Sitel, told the tribunal that all staff had been guaranteed an interview with another call centre operation TSC Heroes in Warrington.

And he insisted that Sitel had taken a 'rational business decision' to wind down the Accrington operation, when staff began to leave for new positions after the Expedia announcement.

He told the hearing that there was the potential for staff to transfer to India, though it was accepted the majority may be unwilling.

The tribunal heard claims from several witnesses that the 'employee forum' used to keep staff informed regarding the redundancy process was not well-regarded.

Comments (10)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

12:15pm Tue 18 Feb 14

TONY WALES says...

Good offer this.......sunny warm weather.......lovely beaches....plenty of curry restaurants .... plenty of cheap reliable taxi's.
Free health service.....good schools.
Cheap houses.....
Maybe you will not notice any difference from working in Accrington........?
Good offer this.......sunny warm weather.......lovely beaches....plenty of curry restaurants .... plenty of cheap reliable taxi's. Free health service.....good schools. Cheap houses..... Maybe you will not notice any difference from working in Accrington........? TONY WALES
  • Score: 13

12:25pm Tue 18 Feb 14

greenscreener says...

Outsourcing, the last refuge of any business when management fails.
If you don't care about quality, customers or staff there is always someone who can deliver a service cheaper.
Outsourcing, the last refuge of any business when management fails. If you don't care about quality, customers or staff there is always someone who can deliver a service cheaper. greenscreener
  • Score: 35

12:42pm Tue 18 Feb 14

Daveoreilly says...

I was behind this so called reporter on Monday at the tribunal and I guess he was not listening to what was said. I can help with your miss reporting if you like?? and for FREE.
Staff were NOT told to move to India at any point. Staff, (through the shame of this consultation) requested to know if there were short term opportunities to assist with the transfer of business to India. I believe of the 200+ staff, only 1 was eligible to work full time (as he is a citizen of India and did not require a visa) and only a handful went to India for up to a maximum of a month.
Please explain why you report what the hell you like and not what was actually stated in the tribunal?
I hope Sitel are brought to justice, as this is not the first time they have found themselves up against an employment tribunal.
Good luck to all local staff involved.
I was behind this so called reporter on Monday at the tribunal and I guess he was not listening to what was said. I can help with your miss reporting if you like?? and for FREE. Staff were NOT told to move to India at any point. Staff, (through the shame of this consultation) requested to know if there were short term opportunities to assist with the transfer of business to India. I believe of the 200+ staff, only 1 was eligible to work full time (as he is a citizen of India and did not require a visa) and only a handful went to India for up to a maximum of a month. Please explain why you report what the hell you like and not what was actually stated in the tribunal? I hope Sitel are brought to justice, as this is not the first time they have found themselves up against an employment tribunal. Good luck to all local staff involved. Daveoreilly
  • Score: 35

1:26pm Tue 18 Feb 14

Excluded again says...

This story shows why employees with any foresight make sure that they are members of an independent Trade Union, not an employer organised 'employees forum'.
This story shows why employees with any foresight make sure that they are members of an independent Trade Union, not an employer organised 'employees forum'. Excluded again
  • Score: 5

3:14pm Tue 18 Feb 14

Jack Herer says...

Excluded again wrote:
This story shows why employees with any foresight make sure that they are members of an independent Trade Union, not an employer organised 'employees forum'.
I can tell you from experience that it wouldn't have made a blind bit of difference.

Unions are only good when they can hold the general public to ransom with strikes, i.e. are in the public sector.

In the private sector unions have to live in the real world. What use would being in a union made to these workers? Would striking have changed anything? The company wanted rid of these jobs anyway. Look at Grangemouth.

Where are the public sector unions helping private sector workers when they get shafted? Where is the solidarity? All the unions are for is shafting the private sector more by giving unfair bonuses to those in the public sector which the private sector workers ultimately have to pay for.

That's the tragic truth about the unions. The unions are not there for the benefit of the common man. How can they be when their actions cost the common man an arm and a leg?
[quote][p][bold]Excluded again[/bold] wrote: This story shows why employees with any foresight make sure that they are members of an independent Trade Union, not an employer organised 'employees forum'.[/p][/quote]I can tell you from experience that it wouldn't have made a blind bit of difference. Unions are only good when they can hold the general public to ransom with strikes, i.e. are in the public sector. In the private sector unions have to live in the real world. What use would being in a union made to these workers? Would striking have changed anything? The company wanted rid of these jobs anyway. Look at Grangemouth. Where are the public sector unions helping private sector workers when they get shafted? Where is the solidarity? All the unions are for is shafting the private sector more by giving unfair bonuses to those in the public sector which the private sector workers ultimately have to pay for. That's the tragic truth about the unions. The unions are not there for the benefit of the common man. How can they be when their actions cost the common man an arm and a leg? Jack Herer
  • Score: 4

3:56pm Tue 18 Feb 14

Izanears says...

This story shows why employees with any foresight make sure that they are members of an independent Trade Union, not an employer organised 'employees forum'.
When I was a salesman my company reduced my pay by 50% on the pretext that i could make it up on commission. I was in a union but they were not interested in fighting my case.
Apropos the case/tribunal in question. Far too many companies get away with sacking staff by saying that there are jobs in other areas. I mean who, having worked in Accrington would want to travel all the way to Warrington?
It is an insult.
This story shows why employees with any foresight make sure that they are members of an independent Trade Union, not an employer organised 'employees forum'. When I was a salesman my company reduced my pay by 50% on the pretext that i could make it up on commission. I was in a union but they were not interested in fighting my case. Apropos the case/tribunal in question. Far too many companies get away with sacking staff by saying that there are jobs in other areas. I mean who, having worked in Accrington would want to travel all the way to Warrington? It is an insult. Izanears
  • Score: 7

4:05pm Tue 18 Feb 14

Timefor says...

Another example of where, if we had active trade unions, maybe a better outcome could have been negotiated. Seems to me that it's easy to imagine that TUs are too busy filling their own boots at the expense of too many ordinary people ie they think they have it made so there's no need to push.

For goodness sake, the sooner they, the TUs, wake up to what is going on and show some mettle then the sooner the country will be a better place to live or are we still suffering the effects of Maggie removing the free school milk!
Another example of where, if we had active trade unions, maybe a better outcome could have been negotiated. Seems to me that it's easy to imagine that TUs are too busy filling their own boots at the expense of too many ordinary people ie they think they have it made so there's no need to push. For goodness sake, the sooner they, the TUs, wake up to what is going on and show some mettle then the sooner the country will be a better place to live or are we still suffering the effects of Maggie removing the free school milk! Timefor
  • Score: 1

4:08pm Tue 18 Feb 14

shytalk says...

Sadly large organizations seem to be above the law and can do what they wish. It really is time that employment law and outsourcing were looked at closely and more protection given to employees.
The economy will never recover whilst this hire and fire policy exists in Britain.. People are just too frightened to take out a loan or mortgage for fear of losing their jobs one way or another.
Sadly large organizations seem to be above the law and can do what they wish. It really is time that employment law and outsourcing were looked at closely and more protection given to employees. The economy will never recover whilst this hire and fire policy exists in Britain.. People are just too frightened to take out a loan or mortgage for fear of losing their jobs one way or another. shytalk
  • Score: 8

4:13pm Tue 18 Feb 14

Timefor says...

shytalk wrote:
Sadly large organizations seem to be above the law and can do what they wish. It really is time that employment law and outsourcing were looked at closely and more protection given to employees.
The economy will never recover whilst this hire and fire policy exists in Britain.. People are just too frightened to take out a loan or mortgage for fear of losing their jobs one way or another.
Yup, but there you go, that's the lab/lib/con set-up for you. I for one am getting pretty fed up reading reports of how wonderful it is that x number of jobs have been created with never a mention of the quality of the jobs ie we need better jobs and necessarily just more jobs. Maybe a kite mark for employers should be introduced.
[quote][p][bold]shytalk[/bold] wrote: Sadly large organizations seem to be above the law and can do what they wish. It really is time that employment law and outsourcing were looked at closely and more protection given to employees. The economy will never recover whilst this hire and fire policy exists in Britain.. People are just too frightened to take out a loan or mortgage for fear of losing their jobs one way or another.[/p][/quote]Yup, but there you go, that's the lab/lib/con set-up for you. I for one am getting pretty fed up reading reports of how wonderful it is that x number of jobs have been created with never a mention of the quality of the jobs ie we need better jobs and necessarily just more jobs. Maybe a kite mark for employers should be introduced. Timefor
  • Score: 4

7:00pm Tue 18 Feb 14

Lancs - pensioner says...

Timefor wrote:
shytalk wrote:
Sadly large organizations seem to be above the law and can do what they wish. It really is time that employment law and outsourcing were looked at closely and more protection given to employees.
The economy will never recover whilst this hire and fire policy exists in Britain.. People are just too frightened to take out a loan or mortgage for fear of losing their jobs one way or another.
Yup, but there you go, that's the lab/lib/con set-up for you. I for one am getting pretty fed up reading reports of how wonderful it is that x number of jobs have been created with never a mention of the quality of the jobs ie we need better jobs and necessarily just more jobs. Maybe a kite mark for employers should be introduced.
Both good points and yes the unions don't have any power anymore but the employees and US the people of the UK still have one card up our sleeves, DONT look at, book anything again with Expedia, simples!!
[quote][p][bold]Timefor[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]shytalk[/bold] wrote: Sadly large organizations seem to be above the law and can do what they wish. It really is time that employment law and outsourcing were looked at closely and more protection given to employees. The economy will never recover whilst this hire and fire policy exists in Britain.. People are just too frightened to take out a loan or mortgage for fear of losing their jobs one way or another.[/p][/quote]Yup, but there you go, that's the lab/lib/con set-up for you. I for one am getting pretty fed up reading reports of how wonderful it is that x number of jobs have been created with never a mention of the quality of the jobs ie we need better jobs and necessarily just more jobs. Maybe a kite mark for employers should be introduced.[/p][/quote]Both good points and yes the unions don't have any power anymore but the employees and US the people of the UK still have one card up our sleeves, DONT look at, book anything again with Expedia, simples!! Lancs - pensioner
  • Score: 6

Comments are closed on this article.

click2find

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree