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Tuesday, 11 February, 2003, 12:31 GMT
Concerns over Indian call centre plans
Norwich Union
Aviva employs 30,000 people in the UK
Union officials are seeking assurances over UK jobs after an insurance giant announced plans to build a call centre in India.

Aviva, the parent company of Norwich Union, said its new Bangalore operation would employ 1,000 people by the end of 2003.

The company currently employs 30,000 people in the UK - including 3,000 in call centres in Perth and Bishopbriggs in Scotland, Sheffield and Norwich.

It said it aimed to use natural turnover and internal staff transfers to minimise any compulsory redundancies among its UK staff.

'Improve efficiency'

The new centre will be staffed by graduates from India's universities who will process general insurance claims.

Richard Harvey, group chief executive, said: "We are operating in an increasingly competitive environment and need to explore opportunities to improve our efficiency, while delivering high levels of service to our customers."

The manufacturing and finance union, Amicus, has said it will oppose the "wholesale" export of jobs from the UK.

National officer Dave Fleming said: "This announcement and the recent trend of finance sector companies outsourcing jobs to lower cost employment areas suggest that the tight regulations affecting the insurance sector are having a serious impact on UK jobs.

Cheaper costs

"I will be continuing meetings with senior management so that the company fulfils its partnership agreement with us and undertakes full and meaningful consultation so that it sends a positive message to its UK workers."

India's call centre industry employs more than 100,000 workers, and the number is predicted to rise.

Costs are estimated to be 40% cheaper than in the UK.


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27 Nov 02 | South Asia
30 Sep 02 | Business
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