Sunday 20 August 2017

Unions at Axa claim job cuts a breach of agreement

Unite and Siptu have demanded that there are no compulsory redundancies. Stock picture
Unite and Siptu have demanded that there are no compulsory redundancies. Stock picture
Charlie Weston

Charlie Weston

Unions at Axa have accused the company of a breach of an agreement over its plans to lay off staff and shut branches.

The insurer is cutting 104 jobs and closing 18 branches.

Axa says it is the largest motor insurer in the country.

Unite and Siptu have demanded that there are no compulsory redundancies.

The unions have written to the head of human resources in Axa Insurance and accused the company of breaking an agreement that dates back to last year.

The letter, a copy of which has been seen by the Irish Independent, demands an immediate review of the plans to cut jobs, close branches and move operations to Derry.

Unions were briefed on the restructuring.

The letter to Axa quotes previous promises given by the insurer to the unions.

Read More: Motorists to foot the bill for collapsed insurers

"These proposals come as a shock to our members as it is just over a year since we signed an agreement with the company that included a restatement of Axa's commitment 'to the branch network model focussing on providing a face-to-face walk-in service and telephony service to customers'."

Laying off people and shutting branches was in breach of the agreement with the unions signed in April last year, the letter added.

It is understood that Axa is seeking voluntary redundancies, but the redundancy programme will be compulsory if it does not get the numbers it wants.

The unions said there must be no compulsory lay-offs.

The company said in a statement it will work very closely with staff and unions to manage the issues that arise "with care and sensitivity and we hope to avoid further media discussion on the matter".

Irish Independent

Also in Business