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400 IT jobs to go at Barclays

The bank has cut hundreds of permanent and contractor posts, and unions warn more retrenchments may follow
Written by Nick Heath, Contributor

Union leaders have warned that more tech jobs could be at risk at Barclays in the wake of the bank's decision to axe more than 400 IT posts.

Today the bank announced it will cut 408 global infrastructure and service delivery (GISD) roles in April this year, in addition to the 1,800 GISD posts that Barclays earmarked to be scrapped in 2008.

A total of 158 permanent staff and 250 contractors will be cut.

Barclays said it will try to minimise compulsory redundancies among the affected GISD staff: "We will, of course, take all possible measures to mitigate compulsory redundancies through releasing contractors, closing vacancies and opening voluntary redundancy registers," the company said in a statement. "Affected employees will be given the opportunity to apply for other roles within Barclays."

Keith Brookes, national secretary for Barclays at the union Unite, told ZDNet UK's sister site, silicon.com, that its members could strike over the latest GISD cuts.

"We will oppose any compulsory redundancies and if our members are unhappy about the changes we will not rule out taking any action," Brookes said. "We are unsure how easy it will be to redeploy these highly skilled tech jobs in a recession and given the fact that Barclays seems to be contracting."

The majority of the 400 jobs will be axed from the bank's offices in London and its centre of excellence in Radbroke, Cheshire, where Brookes cautioned further jobs could be at risk.

"We have got a commitment from Barclays that Radbroke will remain a centre of excellence and that 1,000 jobs will stay there under the three-year globalisation programme agreed in January 2008," Brookes said. "But that programme was based on growth and we are meeting with senior figures at Barclays in February to discuss a 're-tuning' of the programme."

"GISD supplies IT to other internal departments at Barclays and if more departments are run down, as I believe they might be, then that puts a further question mark over the jobs at Radbroke," Brookes added.

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