back to article Home Office ignores plight of BA techies as job offshoring looms

The Home Office has stonewalled the GMB trade union’s attempts to raise the plight of British Airways IT staff whose jobs are being sent to an Indian outsourcer – and the potential security implications involved. The GMB has written four letters to the Department’s Secretary Theresa May – seen by us – after BA hired Tata …

  1. JimmyPage
    Unhappy

    I'm afraid, as predicted

    There will be so much post-Brexit shit to deal with, this is probably not even bottom of the list of lists of things that need to be done.

    Generally the UK government seems to struggle doing it's day job. Gawd knows how it's going to cope unpicking the tangle of UK-EU connections.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I'm afraid, as predicted

      Generally the UK government seems to struggle doing it's day job. Gawd knows how it's going to cope unpicking the tangle of UK-EU connections.

      Do you really think they intend to?

      The establishment was absolutely united for Remain, and I'd guess that the schemes and bureaucrats will hope to string out the negotiations, with a view to running a second referendum when they've deliberately struck some bad prospective deals with the EU.

      1. JimmyPage
        Unhappy

        Re:second referendum

        Really ?

        I think, if nothing else, the brief fad for referenda we have enjoyed is well and truly dead.

        We won't see another one for at least 60 years. When all the people who can remember this one are dead.

        Of all the referenda we could have had, this is probably the most ill conceived, debated and executed as you could get. Certainly the most divisive. We need a "I weep for my country" icon.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Re:second referendum

          We need a "I weep for my country" icon.

          Why? Isn't this called "democracy"?

          As far as I know, nobody wept for the country when Blair had absolute control of the country in 2005, winning an absolute parliamentary majority with only 35.2% of the total vote, and a mere 21.6% of the eligible electorate?

          You could do similar numbers for the more recent coalition and Conservative wins, but the point is, that's what we accept as democracy, and as a referendum this was at least pure proportional representation, with (by UK standards) massive turnout.

          And one particular positive is the slap in the face that the electorate have given to the establishment, big business, EU plutocrats, and patronising Graun-reading types everywhere. Are you objecting to that?

          1. JimmyPage
            Stop

            Re:nobody wept for the country when Blair

            No. They marched in their millions in London.

            And *then* were ignored.

            It's either heads on spikes, or weeping in the corner.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Pint

              Re: Re:nobody wept for the country when Blair

              It's either heads on spikes, or weeping in the corner.

              Now your talking! I suspect we're not on the same part of the political spectrum, but as something of an old school Conservative, I'd like to offer David Cameron up for first bonce to grace a spike.

          2. Richard 12 Silver badge

            @Ledswinger

            Yes, they did.

            They tore off their own legs, and slapped the establishment in the face with the wet end.

            And they are now sat twitching and dying, watching the blood pool around their torsos, wondering what happened.

            While the establishment look on, considering how to get the blood out of their shirt.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: @Richard 12

              And they are now sat twitching and dying, watching the blood pool around their torsos, wondering what happened.

              Oh, the histrionics! It's a joy to see some Remainers decrying democracy, gnashing their teeth and rending their garments, prophesying the end of the world. Some even demanding ex post rule changes to the referendum. I must say this "the people are ignorant fools, we know what is best, we should ignore them" philosophy is very popular on the left of the political spectrum.

              But lets look at what happened. All that happened was that we voted not to be dragged into the emergent homogeneous EU superstate governed by semi-elected nonentities in Brussels. Is that really a big deal? We'll still be a top ten world economy, and we'll still want to trade with the EU. If they don't, it will be their loss because of the trade imbalance, although hopefully that will start to right itself with sterling taking a necessary downward correction. And we'll have a whole world to trade with, that the protectionists of the EU keep at bay with a whole litany of trade barriers.

              The bizarre thing, is the extent to which the supposedly liberal left approve of the ghastly exclusivity of the EU club, its two fingers to the developing world, its ring fenced wagons of ageing first world economies, sclerotic with interventionism and subsidy, and persistently crapping on the youth of Europe. Look at the horrifying youth unemployment rates in Greece, Spain, Portugal, France - presumably that's what you want Britain to emulate and have a share of?

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                @Ledswinger

                "...we know what is best, we should ignore them" philosophy is very popular on the left of the political spectrum."

                Specious and very patronising. Sounds like you know best.

                Since when has the Tory party been on the left of anything?

              2. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                @Ledswinger

                Re:"The bizarre thing, is ..."

                You are aware that Britain was a leading country in Europe, yet did next to nothing to address or help with the issues you mention. And then effectively mocked it's own team with it's infantile claims of "it's all their fault not mine".

                Britain's sabotage of Europe should serve as a warning to anyone who wants to collaborate with us that we're only looking out for ourselves.

  2. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

    80% of BA "techies" earn 50k ? cab i join? I'll do it for 40 .... no 30 ....

    1. gv

      Good luck trying to cover living/commuting expenses on £30k at Heathrow. It can be done, but maybe not to the standard you would expect.

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Do BA have to have their techies at Heathrow?

        Surely there are ways of transferring computer data from other places.

        An aeroplane full of hard drives has quick a high bandwidth (although the ping times suffer)

    2. Steelted

      Too late. They only accept 18.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    You won't have to worry about all those Indians from the EU now!

    What's the problem? You're out from the EU now, and there will be no work offshored to the Continent, now. European Indians won't bother you anymore.

    Those from the Commonwealth, oh, well, ...

    After all Tata already owns Jaguar, one day it will own BA too, maybe, after all those people coming from India to work in England need to travel by plane...

    Good luck....

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: You won't have to worry about all those Indians from the EU now!

      They already travel by plane. We have some from TATA already over here.

      Losing in-house staff = lost knowledge which will cost more in the long run.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: You won't have to worry about all those Indians from the EU now!

      After all Tata already owns Jaguar, one day it will own BA too,

      Doesn't matter which nation owns the equity of a firm. Both of the companies you mention have a similar number of UK employees (BA slightly more direct, JLR far more when you include supply chains).

      What matters is whether the jobs are good quality jobs, whether the company invests in training and education. I can't say whether BA or JLR do better in this respect, but knowing something of JLR's commitment to training I can say that it is one of the strongest companies in the world on this. If it's Indian owned, I don't mind, and good luck to them. Tata even tried to make a go of British Steel in the face of the British governments wicked indifference and industry-hating energy and environment policies.

      1. Matt Bryant Silver badge

        Re: You won't have to worry about all those Indians from the EU now!

        "Doesn't matter which nation owns the equity of a firm...." IIRC, Tata Consultancy Services are floated on the New York Stock Exchange, so whilst it might be a company of Indian origin it is probably "owned" by people from many countries and walks of life without them even knowing it (many pensions and savings funds invest in NSE stock).

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    penny wise pound foolish

    "BA is also removing the free snack passengers get on short haul flights."

    they are not free, its paid for in the price of the airfare.

    I found it was always cheaper to fly BA if checking in a bag, as the easyjet add on costs and cost of a beer and sandwich easily went over BA's prices.

    getting rid of experienced staff is always a foolish idea made by people who have no clue as to what their experienced staff do, convinced by snake oil salesmen their jobs can be done cheaper and to the same standard or higher elsewhere. Stuff will break and the offshore staff will have no clue as to how to fix as they have no history with it. Jane and Fred who where there when Tom, Richard & Harriet put it in and supported it when they left, will no longer be able to explain to the newly certified replacements once their redundancy comes in.

    This should be a wakeup call to industry to standardise on off the shelf, well supported systems where skills are easily transferred, but they won't & the consultancies know this & will make a fortune out of PM'ing bespoke work the previous experienced staff did anyway, ultimately costing BA more money.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: penny wise pound foolish

      ultimately costing BA more money.

      But by that time everybody will have forgotten how much it cost before. Businesses have shockingly poor corporate memories, particularly for things like this that would show them up.

      My multinational employer are in exactly this situation. Outsourced the basic infrastructure and services to HP, kept development and projects in house. Unsurprisingly the cost of services turned out much higher than the business case. So we foolishly cut our own projects budget to keep total IT costs the same. A few scant years later it comes as a huge surprise out that we've a massive backlog of IT investment needs, and that the resource needs are so large that we've exhausted the skills in our provincial city locations, and costs and timescale are at risk.

      The next act in this tawdry and utterly predictable drama will be for our IT top-brass and corporate bean counters to say "surely an IT specialist can find us some Java developers in a low cost location and solve our skills and cost problem...". The pea-brains will then outsource the lot to Accunture or IBM Global Buggerups, and we lose all control and continuity, and find that in addition to outsourced services being crap and more expensive than doing it yourself, our projects become crap and more expensive.

      And the remarkable thing about this, if the chimps in Procurement and the monkeys in Finance did their job properly, they'd realise from the published accounts of the outsourcers that any business case we see will be making very different assumptions about the cost to us, and the real average price customers get charged per outsource employee. For some reason, our decision makers seem to think that the big ITO and consultancies are not grasping, high cost middlemen, but some form of caring charity.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    oh well just have to outsource my air travel to an asian company

    ... no more "free" snacks? ... my blue (lowest level) BA frequent flyer card doesn't get me anything useful now so if you're not giving me INCLUDED food on air travel, then there really is a whole host of other airlines that will.

    IT folk getting outsourced from the UK because its so damn expensive to pay people there... is it still 2010? Is that still news?

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: oh well just have to outsource my air travel to an asian company

      You mean have a choice of airlines?

      And yet still choose to fly BA

      Here in Canada we have a choice between AirCanada (think BA in the days of nationlised customer service) and WestJet (a discount domestic airline without the cheap fares)

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Phew! Reduce immigration by simply off-shoring jobs in the first place.

  7. This post has been deleted by its author

  8. Mike 16 Silver badge

    Security?

    Come on, the NSA outsourced to a contractor in Hawaii (Once a nation, and as of today maybe the independence folks will get more of a look-in), and they don't seem to have had much trouble.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Holmes

    And people wonder how the vote for Brexit happened?

    My guess is that a lot of it involved real or perceived instances where people's jobs were threatened, they appealed to various members of the establishment to get some help or clarification, were ignored for their trouble and then had their jobs outsourced to "immigrants".

    Then they "stuck it to The Man" at the ballot box.

    1. DryBones

      Re: And people wonder how the vote for Brexit happened?

      I'd agree with that. It seems from this angle to be a massive "fuck you and the horse you rode in on". Cannot say I blame them, whatever the results.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: And people wonder how the vote for Brexit happened?

      Ironically, the Man they just stuck it to now has a lot more power over them. And is even less interested in their best interests than before as he is no longer accountable to faceless bureaucrats. Unfortunately, he is now the faceless bureacrat. His interests however, are paramount.

      Know you place, subject.

      1. Bloodbeastterror

        Re: And people wonder how the vote for Brexit happened?

        "the Man they just stuck it to now has a lot more power over them"

        Absolutely right. In the disgraceful fug of scaremongering by both sides I (like most people, I suspect) stuck to a single core personal reason - to retain EU oversight, balance and reining in of the excesses of our government.

        I think this is a better reason for my vote than the disgusting xenophobic racism promoted by UKIP & cronies.

        http://www.thedailymash.co.uk/politics/politics-headlines/you-have-made-this-man-happy-20160624109755

  10. Munkstar

    The subsidised 'Arab' airways model is to blame.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not really a suprise

    They are probably right to be worried about national security but then the Home Office has allowed BT, the so called guardian of the critical infrastructure to stuff it's network with cheap Chinese designed and manufactured kit which no doubt has a kill switch that can be operated from Beijing.

    Maybe the Home Office and Treasury have got an undeclared stake in these companies which is where the cash that we don't normally have suddenly appears from when the Government has a pet project.

    I sincerely hope these people find jobs soon and stick two fingers up to BA.

  12. Lorca

    A further example of current IAG (BA) management mentality

    I noticed that IAG, BA's parent company used the biggest issue in the UK's recent political history to release bad news. The referendum result had on just been announced and IAG stated that due to the referendum result profit forecasts would be down for this financial year. The financial press saw through this cynical act. (The Times Business section on Saturday for example)

    Considering that some of BA's largest customers work in the financial services industry this will be noted.

    Seems to be another own goal by the current senior management team at IAG.

  13. BillDarblay

    ROFL, HAHAHAHAHA, Teehee

    TOTAL MAY HEM! If she wins the election people in the UK are far more stupid and fawning than even I gave them credit for.

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