Unite members campaigning to save 1,550 jobs at Legal & General’s flagship site in Kingswood, Surrey, will protest outside L&G headquarters in London today, and will seek to deliver an independent impact report which reveals the closure will rip a £21 million black hole in the local economy.
Unite has commissioned the independent local impact assessment, which analyses the cost of closing the Kingswood site in terms of lost wages, the knock-on impact to local business and an increase in welfare support for those made redundant.
After considering a variety of scenarios the report, conducted by CLES Consulting, reveals that the total cost of closure in terms of lost wages and increases in welfare payments would be £36,000,000, while the knock-on impact on the local economy will be over £21,000,000.
The protest follows a 67 per cent vote in support of industrial action by L&G members in Kingswood, following L&G’s decision close the profitable Kingswood site in 2017 citing potential cost savings. Unite has been campaigning since September to keep the site open and in response L&G have sought to postpone the closure and offer a minority of staff the option of relocation to sites across the country.
Ian Methven, Unite regional officer said:
“Our independent report reveals that L&G are prepared to rip a £21 million black hole in to the local economy, a bitter reward for the seventy years that Kingswood has provided a home for the company to prosper.
“This dispute is a damning example of how a company can completely squander its relationship with both staff and the community in pursuit of meagre savings. We are calling on the Legal & General board recognise their social responsibility and to work with Unite to consider all options for keeping Kingswood open.”
For more information please contact Ben Norman on 07525 590 075 or the Unite press office on 020 3371 2065.
Note to Editors:
A copy of the independent impact and photos from the London protest are available on request from Ben.Norman@unitetheunion.org.
Full Citation: ‘Estimating the potential impact of a legal and general closure at Kingswood’, CLES Consulting, January 2016
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.