Dispute over Co-op Bank job losses: Redundancies break agreement, union says

THE 'ETHICAL' Co-operative Bank, which boasts strong links with the labour movement, has started to make managers compulsorily redundant.

The Banking Insurance and Finance Union yesterday accused the bank of breaking a job security agreement under which the company can shed jobs only on a voluntary basis.

Union officials point out that the bank only recently announced a scheme to insure customers against job loss. Under a new strategy to make the bank the natural home for the 'caring middle classes', fund managers have also eschewed investment in 'unethical' enterprises. Tobacco companies and the fur industry are among the no-go areas.

The union said up to 100 managers were under threat of redundancy this year and it had received an internal list that could lead to the loss of another 100 staff next year.

Keith Brookes of Bifu denounced the decision to force managers out of the company as 'dishonourable and unacceptable'.

A spokesman for the bank said only five managers had been made compulsorily redundant and the management was confident that all other job losses would be achieved voluntarily.

Union officials said their members no longer trusted the management. Bifu had resolved to lobby the banks' executive, protest to CWS, the parent company, and inform unions that used the bank. Bifu also intends to leaflet customers and branches and initiate a publicity campaign to expose what it sees as the two faces of the bank.

Mr Brookes warned that if the management continued with its 'programme of madness' there could be a ballot on industrial action.

Union officials are demanding a redundancy deal similar to that agreed with National Westminister, which allowed for voluntary severance only under enhanced terms. Co-op officials had offered a 'paltry' enhancement far inferior to its competitors', the union argued.

A spokesman for the bank accused the union of trying to exaggerate the numbers who had been made to leave the company.

The managers concerned had been on a 'surplus to requirements' list for several years and some of them had refused to take up alternative job offers.

At the beginning of the year, the company calculated that it needed to shed around 150 non-managerial staff, but that figure had been brought down to 70. 'We won't need to make any of these compulsorily redundant this year and we're confident it won't happen next,' the spokesman said. The Co-op was also confident that all managerial job losses could be achieved voluntarily.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Life and Style
Steve Shaw shows Kate how to get wet behind the ears and how to align her neck
healthSteven Shaw - the 'Buddha of Breaststroke' - applies Alexander Technique to the watery sport
Arts and Entertainment
The sight of a bucking bronco in the shape of a pink penis was too much for Hollywood actor and gay rights supporter Martin Sheen, prompting him to boycott a scene in the TV series Grace and Frankie
footballShirt then goes on sale on Gumtree
Terry Sue-Patt as Benny in the BBC children’s soap ‘Grange Hill’
voicesGrace Dent on Grange Hill and Terry Sue-Patt
Arts and Entertainment
Performers drink tea at the Glastonbury festival in 2010
Arts and Entertainment
Twin Peaks stars Joan Chen, Michael Ontkean, Kyle Maclachlan and Piper Laurie
tvName confirmed for third series
Cameron Jerome
footballCanaries beat Boro to gain promotion to the Premier League
Arts and Entertainment
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Guru Careers: Software Developer / C# Developer

£40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software / C# Developer w...

Neil Pavier: Management Accountant

£45,000 - £55,000: Neil Pavier: Are you looking for your next opportunity for ...

Sheridan Maine: Commercial Accountant

£45,000 - £55,000: Sheridan Maine: Are you a newly qualified ACA/ACCA/ACMA qua...

Laura Norton: Project Accountant

£50,000 - £60,000: Laura Norton: Are you looking for an opportunity within a w...

Day In a Page

Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine