Reading-based employees of major insurer Prudential are commencing industrial action today in protest of the company’s plans to offshore their jobs to Mumbai.
Following a recent unanimous vote in favour of industrial action, staff in the insurer’s annuities department will not “co-operate or undertake any work related to Project Jupiter,” which is the plan to transfer some 76 skilled jobs from the Reading office.
The protesting staff will not be doing work related to the annuities transfer, including checking, shadowing, training, auditing of Mumbai auditors and answering emails, telephone queries and instant messaging questions.
Employees will also not conduct meetings, coaching, auditing of processers, technical referrals from Mumbai and creation or amendments of BPMs, checklists and template letters.
According to Britain’s largest trade union, the Prudential staff’s industrial action will “severely delay” the relocation of work to the Indian capital.
Unite the Union said the industrial dispute will have “significant consequences on the speed and accuracy” of the vital annuities work being carried out in Reading for Prudential customers.
Prudential must now answer “serious questions” in terms of the knowledge and skill levels of those overseeing the annuities work because of the industrial action, the trade group said.
Unite regional officer Ian Methven said the industrial action by the Prudential employees “represents the anger felt” over the offshoring plans.
“Unite has repeatedly challenged the business case for this offshoring as there will not be any benefit to customers and the cost savings are also questionable,” Methven said.
“The union is urging Prudential to halt the offshoring of this skilled work and bring this dispute to an end,” he added.
Methven said Unite has presented a counter-proposal asking Prudential to stop the offshoring and to engage constructively with the union members on how the Reading employees “can deliver efficiencies, while retaining the knowledge and experience.”
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