SIG staff disgust at bombshell

SIG, Signet House, Europa View, Sheffield. Picture: NSTB SIG MC 2
SIG, Signet House, Europa View, Sheffield. Picture: NSTB SIG MC 2

A SIG worker has spoken of his disgust after being pushed to hit financial targets three days before being put at risk of redundancy.

The man was in a team which was “worked really hard to get money in” before the end of June. The following week the Sheffield firm unveiled plans to outsource its 120-strong finance department.

The man said: “I think what most people are most angry about is that we were worked hard to get money in before the half-year end to look good for shareholders - and three days later they dropped that bombshell, It’s disgusting.”

The worker said he believed US outsourcing company Sutherland Global Services has been given the contract. Half the work would got to its site in India and the other half to Bulgaria, in a move that would save up to 70 per cent on salaries.

It comes after SIG lost £51m last year. The company has since closed branches to cut costs including an office at Hillsborough Barracks, the man said.

He added: “The atmosphere is not good, people are worried, some have been here 18 years. The communication is poor, I think the firm is struggling.

“The outsourcing idea was put to the board in December. If they haven’t found an alternative since then they are not going to find it during the 45-day consultation period.”

In an email to staff, SIG chief executive Meinie Oldersma said: “Although change can be unsettling, we’re taking big steps forward to create an effective platform to strengthen the business, which will improve our performance and support the transformation activities in our operating companies.”

A SIG spokeswoman says: “Earlier this year, we decided to follow in the footsteps of many other businesses and create a shared service centre.

“This means joining together many of our existing central services at our new Sheffield head office, Adsetts House.

“We’re currently reviewing the options and while this, and any associated commercial processes are ongoing, we’re giving affected colleagues support and guidance throughout the process.”