Business Irish

Thursday 8 December 2016

BOSI staff vote to fight lay-offs

Published 02/03/2010 | 09:20

Workers in Bank of Scotland (Ireland) have voted overwhelmingly for industrial action to fight compulsory lay-offs, it was confirmed.

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The Unite trade union said 85pc of its 1,000 members at the bank backed plans to challenge massive cost-cutting and the closure of the Halifax network.

Unite regional officer Brian Gallagher said workers from all sectors of the bank supported the action. "Our members feel betrayed and are willing to strike back," he said.

"Many gave up secure jobs in other banks and financial institutions on the basis of what now are apparent as false promises. They were actively encouraged to take out financial products which now place them in great financial danger."

He added: "Those who have held their jobs are just as determined to fight this corner as those who face redundancy in the next few months."

Unite officials said they will seek negotiations on the level of job losses, a substantial lump sum payment for short service staff, suitable long service option including early retirement and a guarantee of no compulsory redundancies in the continuing business.

Bank of Scotland (Ireland) last month announced the closure of its 44 Halifax branches and the retail business with 750 workers facing redundancy. The bank's mortgage business will be run down over time.

Mr Gallagher added: "This is the first closure of a retail bank in Ireland and the first time that a programme of compulsory redundancies has been sought to be imposed in the financial sector."

Postbank, a joint finance business involving An Post and BNP Paribas, last week announced it would follow Halifax out of the Irish market, putting 260 jobs at risk.

Unite has backed calls for Bank of Scotland (Ireland) to be part of a so-called third banking force strong enough to rival the country's two biggest lenders, Bank of Ireland and AIB.

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