IBOA fears for job losses in Ireland if AIB's Polish assets are sold

Issued : 10 September 2010

"The proposed sale of AIB's stake in Bank Zachodni will come at a substantial cost to the staff of AIB in Ireland," said IBOA General Secretary, Larry Broderick. "A significant number of 'back-office staff' in this country are directly involved in providing support to the Polish operation. Their jobs will be immediately under threat if the sales goes ahead.

"Furthermore if AIB proceeds with its plans to dispose of other assets in the USA, Britain and Northern Ireland it will not only threaten the jobs of staff working in those businesses but also pose further threats to the many staff in Ireland whose jobs are directly linked to these operations.

"AIB is pursuing this asset disposal strategy in an attempt to avoid majority State ownership. Seeking to raise capital is all very well. But this objective should not be pursued to the exclusion of the legitmate interests of employees, customers and indeed the public at large.

"The businesses currently up for sale have been described as "the jewels in the crown" of AIB. Once stripped of these jewels, AIB will be seen internationally as little more than a small provincial bank operating in a distressed economy. Such a prospect is unlikely to inspire the private investors on whom AIB is also pinning its hopes to avoid majority State ownership.

"IBOA recently embarked on a major engagement with the senior management of AIB Group. In these negotiations which are likely to continue for some week, IBOA will be seeking to ensure that the future of AIB will be based on the recognition of the legitimate interests of all ot AIB's stake-holders - employees, customers, the Exchequer and the general public - rather than a narrow focus on the interests of shareholders alone. After all it was the excessive pursuit of shareholder value within the financial services sector which was primarily responsible for the current crisis in the first place," he added.