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British airline to move jobs to India

Over 150 workers at Castle Donington-based BMI are at risk of redundancy.

india Updated: Feb 16, 2006 14:44 IST

Over 150 workers at Castle Donington-based British airline BMI face redundancy because their jobs are to be moved to India.

BMI announced that 154 accounts department workers, all based at its Donington Hall head office, have been told they are at risk of redundancy. It said the move followed a 12-month review of "systems and practices".

A statement said: "BMI is working with industry specialists Kale Consultants of India to develop and implement a new system."

Spokesman Phil Shepherd said Kale Consultants would take over the work done by the accounts department workers to improve efficiency and reduce costs.

He admitted the work would be carried out in India, not Britain. Although 154 workers have been given notice of redundancy, Shepherd said the change would create 21 new posts at Donington Hall.

He said it was hoped that with redeployment and voluntary severance, the number of compulsory redundancies could be kept to about 100. The new system is expected to begin in July.

BMI said it had entered into discussions with staff and the GMB union (Britain's general trade union) and promised a 90-day consultation period, starting two days ago. About 800 people are employed at Donington Hall - 290 work in the department affected by the announcement.

BMI spokeswoman Jo Tabberer said: "There will be a net loss of 133 positions. This is due to new technology in ticket transaction processing. Things can be done more efficiently now and that reduces cost and, unfortunately, reduces manning levels."

Jed Purkis, regional organiser at the GMB union, said moving the jobs to India would create resentment among staff and customers.

"The company that has supplied the computer system is running it from India, meaning the jobs will be replaced by low cost posts," he said.

"It would be a gamble on the company's part because of the backlash we have seen against those who export jobs to low cost countries."

First Published: Jan 25, 2006 12:24 IST