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Tuesday 12 December 2017

Aviva workers vote to take industrial action if 950 jobs threatened before agreement

Sarah Stack

Sarah Stack

UNION members at Aviva have voted to take industrial action if 950 jobs being axed are threatened before agreement is reached with staff.

Nine out of ten workers with Unite also vowed to walk out if staff were made to relocate without consultations.

The insurance giant announced plans two weeks ago to half its workforce in Ireland and potentially outsource another 300 posts.

The Unite trade union said workers have not yet been consulted on the drastic reductions or made aware which roles and areas are at risk.

Regional officer Brian Gallagher said: "Unite will serve notice today that any attempt to implement the restructuring announced from London, prior to agreement with Irish staff, will be met by industrial action."

Aviva Ireland employs 1,770 people in Dublin, Galway and Cork, and has a customer base of 1.3 million people. The firm reported an operating profit of £1.3bn (€1.5bn) for the first half of 2011.

It is expected 770 people at Aviva Ireland will lose their jobs as well as 180 from Aviva Europe, which is also based in Ireland.

Mr Gallagher maintained the reputation of Aviva has been severely damaged by the company's behaviour in relation to its workforce."

"The company must now begin the work of repairing that by being open and honest about what changes will be made, and rowing back on the numbers of jobs at risk where a case exists for positions being retained in Ireland," he continued.

"Half of the workforce at Aviva is under threat but everybody feels the need to fight the conclusions drawn without any input from the workers who built this company in Ireland."

He said the union will begin a full review of the job cuts.

"We will insist that those which are to be lost be so on a voluntary redundancy basis, and where no genuine case is made for taking jobs out of Ireland, we will fight to make sure that changes to the plan are made," he added.

"Our determination is to maximise the number of sustainable, long-term skilled jobs in Ireland for our members."

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