The UK's biggest union will start talks this week with the 3,500 Royal Bank of Scotland staff about to lose their jobs to assess what action to take next in what it describes as a "horror story".
Unite reacted with disbelief and outrage to RBS's decision to axe a further 3,500 jobs, taking its total UK redundancy count to more than 20,000. The jobs will mostly be cut from business services operations where there will be 2,500 losses while technology services will see 1,000 job cuts.
Rob MacGregor, Unite's national officer, said: "It will be a specially bitter pill for staff to swallow as RBS has decided to move some of the jobs abroad, to the Far East, India and America. Just three weeks ago, staff were boosted to hear of the £1.1bn, half-year profit, yet today thousands of them are told that they have no future at the bank.
"Unite is appalled that this 84 per cent tax payer supported institution has since 2009 – under the banner of a strategic review – cut 21,500 staff."
RBS has been carrying out a strategic review of its operations for some time and has always said the process would lead to job losses. However, it was hoped that as the market recovered and as RBS moved back into the black this year that redundancies would slow.