Staff at Legal & General’s flagship site in Kingswood, Surrey, have moved closer to strike action in the new year with the launch of a final industrial action ballot. This follows September’s consultative ballot, which saw 63 per cent of members vote in support of taking strike action to defend 1,550 jobs.
The strike ballot will begin on Friday 11 December and will last until Monday 4 January.
The dispute follows L&G’s decision to threaten up to 1,550 jobs by closing the Kingswood site in 2017, citing potential cost savings.
In September 68 per cent of Unite members in Kingswood took part in a consultative ballot, with 63 per cent voting in support of taking industrial action.
In response Legal & General postponed the closure of Kingswood until 2018 and offered some staff the option of relocation to sites in Hove, Cardiff, Wittam, London and Birmingham. However, there has been no offer of either long term job security for impacted staff or any willingness to discuss alternatives that could keep the Kingswood site open.
Ian Methven, Unite regional officer, said: “Our members are not interested in a mere ‘stay of execution’, they want Legal & General to seriously look at ways that the profitable Kingswood site can remain open and the1,550 jobs can be saved.
"Kingswood remains a centre for hundreds of highly skilled pension specialists and financial experts, whose loss would have a clear impact on Legal & General’s ability to serve its customers. Closing Kingswood is simply the wrong decision for staff and customers.
"As Legal & General is refusing to enter into serious negotiations, our members have been left with no option but to proceed with a final industrial ballot ahead of strike action.”
For more information please contact Ben Norman on 07525 590 075 or the Unite press office on 020 3371 2065.
Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with over 1.4 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey