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Date: Thu 1 July 2010

UNISON urges ScottishPower and Accenture to reconsider 200 jobs cut

UNISON has urged ScottishPower and IT systems company Accenture to reconsider their strategy of making 200 staff redundant in Scotland and the rest of the UK, and moving their work to India.

Global outsourcing company Accenture, which recently won a $200 million contract to support ScottishPower's IT systems, has announced its intention to make 60% of the UK workforce redundant by Christmas and move most of the work to India. More than half of the 200 jobs at risk are based at Peel Park in East Kilbride, with the remainder in North Wales.

UNISON Scotland Regional Organiser Gerry Crawley said:
"Our union will be urging ScottishPower and Accenture to reconsider this strategy. We want to make sure that ScottishPower's pursuit of huge profits is balanced against the social obligation to the communities they operate in.

Accenture claims that it was brought in by ScottishPower to halve IT costs, saving over £10 million per year. ScottishPower contributes over a fifth of earnings to Spanish parent company Iberdrola, which made profits of 2.8 billion Euros last year (2009).

Gerry Crawley said:
"The demand that IT costs should now be halved is outrageous, especially when this is to be achieved by massive redundancies and off-shoring.

"We will be pressing Iberdrola to remember that as a European company it has an obligation to the communities it operates in to ensure that good jobs are retained and loyal workforces are treated with respect and not contempt."

UNISON will be taking legal advice to consider whether Accenture has breached its TUPE (Transfer of Undertakings & Protection of Employment) obligations by announcing large scale redundancies immediately following a transfer.

Gerry Crawley said:
"It is certainly hard to imagine that the proposals can be carried out without compulsory redundancies which could inevitably lead to industrial action."


Notes for editors:

1. Global outsourcing technology and consulting company Accenture has just won a 10 year contract worth around $200 million to support ScottishPower’s IT systems. Under Accenture's proposals 190 permanent employees and 14 contractors will lose their jobs, which is 60% of the UK workforce supporting ScottishPower's IT systems. More than half of the jobs at risk are based at Peel Park in East Kilbride with the remainder in Queensferry, North Wales. ScottishPower's IT workforce was outsourced in 2000 and over the last 6 years more than 100 jobs have been moved to India.

2. ScottishPower was acquired by Spanish energy company Iberdrola in 2006. In February 2010, Iberdrola announced profits for last year of 2.8 billion Euros with ScottishPower contributing 21% of underlying earnings (1.3 billion Euros).

3. UNISON is the main union in ScottishPower, representing around 1,000 staff.

For Further Information Please Contact:
Gerry Crawley, Regional Organiser 07958 121 805 (m)
Dave Watson, Scottish Organiser 07958 122 409 (m)
Malcolm Burns, Communications Officer 0141 342 2877 (o) 07958 063 182 (m)
Fiona Montgomery, Communications Officer 0141 342 2877 (o) 07908 672 890 (m)

Stay in touch with UNISON Scotland's latest news releases on our website http://www.unison-scotland.org.uk/news/index.html and frequent updates on our blog http://unison-scotland.blogspot.com/