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By | John Oates 9th February 2011 10:03

CSC faces lockout over Indian 'slave' row

Union not happy with company transfers

CSC Denmark is facing angry union action over the company's use of temporary Indian workers paid a fraction of normal Danish wages.

CSC has had to warn customers of a possible lockout of union workers - about a third of its staff are Prosa members. Some 120 CSC staff have returned building passes and laptops to the company while negotiations continue.

Prosa complains that CSC is bringing staff from India and paying them between 3,000 and 5,000 Danish Kroner a month - between £341 and £568. This is despite Danish immigration law which requires foreigners must earn at least 31,250 Kroner a month (£3,555).

CSC insists that because staff get free accommodation and 8,500 Kroner a month in per diem expenses, the wage is fair.

Prosa's secretary, Hanne Lykke Jespersen, said: "This is gross exploitation of the Indians, who virtually live under slave-like conditions and cannot themselves decide whether they to go to Denmark."

The union got involved after it was contacted by an Indian man working for CSC who complained he was not getting the money he was promised.

Jespersen said no one would know about the workers' conditions except for "one brave Indian".

Prosa was contacted by a CSC staffer who said he was promised 550 Kroner (£62.56) a day, plus his Indian monthly salary of 3,000 Kroner (£341) and an apartment. But on arrival in Denmark he was paid only 285 Kroner a day and given a flat which he was told cost 11,579 Kroner a month (£1,317). The union said few Danes would pay 11,579 Kroner for the small two-bed apartment.

CSC insists the case is a one-off mistake and it has no interest in keeping Indian workers in Denmark for anything other than short contracts - in which case the contract is attractive.

Prosa said the employee in question had been sent back to India and after he resigned from CSC was told he had to pay a penalty of 35,000 Danish Kroner (£3,980).

The union take on the CSC lockout is here, and CSC's statement is here.

Currency conversions come thanks to XE.com.

The two sides hope to agree a new collective agreement with the help of a mediator. ®

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