The 2,000 job losses at Direct Line announced today (Wednesday 26 June) were branded as “a savage bolt from the blue” by Unite, the country’s largest union.
Unite said that it had several hundred members working for the company which also owns the Churchill and Green Flag brands – but had no union recognition.
Unite national officer for finance Dominic Hook hit out at the way Direct Line had been set up with the specific aim to exclude unions from negotiating on behalf of employees.
Dominic Hook said: “The fact that Unite, the union with the largest number of finance sector workers in the country, has been refused recognition makes it easier for Direct Line to announce these savage cuts out of the blue.
“Unite will continue to strongly oppose anti-union bias where it exists in the finance sector and will give all the support we can to our members at Direct Line on an individual basis.
“The government‘s claim that the economy is out of intensive care will have a hollow ring for those at Direct Line who face the dole queue.”
The latest big announcement of job cuts in the finance sector comes after last month’s revelation that by the end of this year Britain’s four biggest banks will have axed 189,000 jobs around the world in the last five years since the banking crisis broke.
Direct Line Insurance Group was spun off from RBS last year as a condition for the bank's £45 billion government bailout. It operates at 16 sites across the country including London, Croydon, Bromley, Leeds, Glasgow and Manchester.
For further information please contact Unite senior communications officer Shaun Noble on 07768 693940
- Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with 1.4 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.