18/12/2003

Deadlock broken over Lloyds TSB call centre closure

A union has moved to suspend the threat of industrial action over the closure of a Lloyds TSB Newcastle call centre after agreement was reached safeguarding jobs.

Although Lloyds TSB is closing the centre with the loss of almost 1,000 jobs, in an unprecedented move, Lloyds TSB has agreed that, should the joint job security agreement process not provide a satisfactory outcome, “the bank will offer a job to anyone in the Newcastle Contact Centre who wishes to remain in the employment of Lloyds TSB.”

The Unifi union had planned "imminent industrial action" aimed at saving the jobs at the centre following the announcement of the closure and the outsourcing of the work to India.

Unifi negotiator, Bernadette Fisher, said: "We are delighted that the bank has made this offer. This is the best Christmas present staff will get. There is now no reason why any member of staff needs to face the dole in 2004. It shows that when union members stand up for themselves they can persuade employers to do the right thing."

The union has recommended that its members accept the offer.

A spokesperson for Unifi confirmed that if members vote to accept the new offer, the union would work to ensure that the staff are redeployed into good jobs and that effective retraining is provided for jobs inside and outside the bank.

Unifi pledged to continue to campaign to stop jobs being sent offshore.

(SP)

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