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2004 Energy Service Group Conference
27 February 2004
Carried as Amended

Conference notes that the TUC estimates that between 150,000 and 200,000 jobs could be at risk in the private service sector due to work being offshored. Conference believes that offshoring on the scale envisaged is not inevitable but while it is happening the priority must be to defend our member’s jobs. Therefore we welcome work done by the Business and Environment Unit including gathering information and organising a seminar on offshoring.

This Conference believes the rapid growth of off-shoring is undermining the pay and conditions of unionised labour in Britain by resting on the super-exploitation of labour in developing countries. It is being driven by privatised utility companies and multi-nationals to maximise profits and not as is claimed to help create jobs and bring prosperity to low paid workers in India, Pakistan, Eastern Europe and other areas being targeted.

The appallingly low wages and Dickensian working conditions in many target countries means that multi-nationals can make savings in excess of 50-60% of labour costs in this country and still ‘market’ themselves as a ‘good’ employer by local standards. In reality the cynical exploitation of these markets is actually damaging the social fabric and infrastructure of developing countries by attracting graduates from critical jobs in local hospitals and schools where pay and conditions are even worse.

The false claims and arguments of the multi-nationals should be exposed and pressure brought to bear by the trade union movement to stop any further outsourcing.

Specifically this conference demands that the Energy Service Group Executive:

i)Continue to work with the NEC on a national campaign against the use of off-shoring. The campaign should investigate and expose the conditions of off-shore workers, specifically:



c)Health and safety policies

d)Pension provision

e)Job security

f)Trade union rights and recognition

ii)Take the campaign into the wider union and work with other service group executives and the NEC to build on the links with the independent trade union movements in India and other countries being targeted as off shore sites. These links should be used to help in the fight to establish trade union rights and recognition at off shore sites;

iii)in liaison with the Business and Environment Working Group continues to develop strategies to deal with the issues, including publicising any offshoring agreements that are made with employers;

iv)give full support to any branch that takes industrial action, in line with UNISON’s industrial action procedure, to defend members’ job security as a result of offshoring;

v)Campaign for the Labour Government to require companies who use off-shore resources to demonstrate that the off-shore sites comply with UN treaties and IL0 rules including human rights and the freedom of association and speech;

vi)Campaign for the Labour Government to bring the privatised utilities back into public owner as the best means of outlawing the use and exploitation of workers in developing countries.