Staff working at Capita IT Services have voted for strike action over a compulsory redundancy plan and work being sent to India.

The workers, members of Unite the union, voted “overwhelmingly” for strike action, the union said, with 80 percent of those who voted voting for strike action and 90 percent voting for action short of a strike. Sixty-five percent of members voted.

In a statement, Capita said: “In order to maintain its strong position in the marketplace, optimise operational efficiency and continue to enhance service delivery to its clients, Capita’s IT services business has concluded that a revised delivery model is necessary."

Unite is urging Capita to withdraw its offshoring plans, which the union said would be “detrimental” to contracts with clients such as Prudential Phoenix and Abbey Life. It argued that vital skills and knowledge would be lost under the plans.

David Fleming, Unite national officer, said: “Capita IT staff have voted for industrial action out of anger at Capita’s plans to send skilled work abroad. Once the skilled jobs are offshored from local communities, they never return, which leaves a damaging impact on local economies.

“Unite members are determined to oppose the plans to send their jobs to India and cut other UK jobs and Unite is calling on Capita’s clients to veto the plans.”

The offshoring plans would affect jobs based at Capita’s sites in Reading, Craigforth, Birmingham and Bournemouth, where 220 staff are employed.

However, despite the union’s claims that some clients will be affected by industrial action, Capita said it has “robust” processes in place to ensure that strike action will not impact its service delivery.

The company added: “Since 30 March 2012, we have been undertaking a consultation process involving employees about a proposal to move limited elements of our work activity to our existing IT services operation in India.

“This consultation process is not yet complete and we are disappointed that 84 employees who are members of Unite – two percent of the entire IT services workforce – have voted in favour of industrial action.”

Details of strike action will be agreed tomorrow (Thursday 16 August) if the union does not reach an agreement with Capita's management. 

IT workers at Atos recently postponed a strike after being made a new pay offer by the company. Members are currently being balloted over the new offer, with results expected over the next few weeks.