AIB proposal for job cuts is an outrageous blow to staff - IBOA

Issued : 12 April 2011

The announcement that at least 2,000 more jobs are to be axed by AIB Group by the end of 2012 is an outrageous blow to staff, according to Larry Broderick, General Secretary of IBOA The Finance Union.

"AIB staff are in a profound state of shock at the magnitude of the job reductions being demanded by the Executive Chairman in his restructuring plan - especially since AIB has already shed around 2,000 jobs since the onset of the financial crisis in the autumn of 2008.

"Once they get over the initial shock, I am certain that our members will be very angry that they are being made to pay the price for the reckless mismanagement of the Bank by an elite group of bosses - many of whom have long since left the institution with extremely generous golden handshakes to see them comfortably into retirement. The ordinary staff in AIB are in no way responsible for the Bank's disastrous predicament. But it appears that many of them will now be sacrificed in a crude attempt to resolve it.

"The lack of detail in this morning's announcement will intensify the sense of uncertainty about their future. IBOA will seek much greater transparency and clarification about the Bank's precise intentions in the interests of both staff and customers.

"These staff are more than collateral damage: they are hard working men and women with families who are facing a very bleak future with few immediate opportunities for re-employment within the financial service sector in this country.

"IBOA is seeking an urgent meeting with the Taoiseach and the Tanaiste to consider the impact of this development - which is the equivalent of a major multi-national company pulling out of the country. The only difference is that the job losses in this case are likely to occur right across the country. Since both party leaders spoke of the importance of job creation in the recent General Election, we will be emphasizing the need to protect as many jobs as possible - especially since the State effectively owns AIB and is preparing to make a further investment of over €13 billion in the institution.

Commenting on the meeting with AIB Executive Chairman, David Hodgkinson, scheduled for Thursday (April 14), Mr. Broderick said that the Union has welcomed AIB management's commitment to engage fully with IBOA in line with the existing Partnership Principles agreed between the parties. "IBOA will demand that all our negotiations with the Bank will be conducted on the basis of full transparency and openness," said Mr. Broderick.

"In particular," he added, "we will press Mr. Hodgkinson to confirm that all redundancies will be implemented on a voluntary basis on terms to be negotiated with IBOA in line with industry norms. We will also seek a commitment from the Executive Chairman to honour the terms and conditions of continuing staff and to enter into comprehensive negotiations with us on any redeployment and transfers that may arise from the restructuring of the business."