Unite members angry after insurance giant announces 1,700 jobs at risk

Tim Lezard Europe, UK, Finance, Unite,

Legal and GeneralUnite members at Legal and General’s flagship site in Kingswood, Surrey are holding a consultative ballot over possible strike action following the company’s decision to threaten 1,700 jobs.

The insurance and investment giant, which has reported an 18% increase in operating profits, announced plans in August to vacate the Kingswood site by 2017, citing potential cost savings.

The ballot will end on September 16th. Following the result Unite will proceed to ballot for full industrial action unless Legal & General commits to serious consultation.

Unite has accused L&G of trying to mislead staff by underplaying the number of jobs under threat. L&G claims the majority of jobs can be transferred to Hove, Cardiff and London; however, figures seen by Unite show that this is an unrealistic proposal.

Unite regional officer Ian Methven said: “There is a real frustration that not only do Legal & General seem willing to cast aside long serving staff at Kingswood in the name of short-term savings, they refuse to be honest about it.

“The company claim the “vast majority” of the 1,700 workforce can be relocated to Hove, Cardiff and London; however, both sites have less than 450 free desks combined. The numbers simply do not add up.

“It’s time for Legal & General to stop trying to mislead staff, admit that we are talking about over a thousand potential job losses and commit to serious consultation.”

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Tim Lezard

Campaigning journalist, editor of @Union_NewsUK, NUJ exec member; lover of cricket, football, cycling, theatre and dodgy punk bands

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