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Lloyds staff worry

Unite is concerned over the Co-op’s decision in April not to buy 632 UK bank branches owned by Lloyds Banking Group (LBG). The Co-op blamed the continued economic downturn and regulation for its decision to back away from the deal.

In 2008 LBG was forced to divest 632 branches under EU rules, following the need for state aid. The sale was supposed to be completed by November 2013 and about 7,500 staff will be part of the divestment.

Talks start for cross- transport union

Unite and transport union TSSA announced on May 1 that discussions to form Britain and Ireland’s first-ever cross-transport union are starting.

The combination will bring together Unite’s 250,000 members in buses, air transport, road haulage, docks and waterways with TSSA’s 23,000 members in rail and travel.

Unite general secretary Len McCluskey said, “I welcome the opportunity to bring TSSA into the Unite family, making our union stronger. For the first time, workers across all forms of transport will be united in a single union – that can only help hard-pressed employees, and put big transport companies on notice to shape up.”

TSSA general secretary Manuel Cortes agreed, adding, “This will secure a very powerful voice for TSSA members well into the future. Teaming up with Unite will deliver a stronger campaigning union – a force to be reckoned with!”

Subject to the successful conclusion of talks and the approval required by both unions’ constitutional structures and by relevant legislation, it’s hoped to secure the transfer of TSSA’s engagements into Unite in early 2014.

13 uniteWORKS May/June 2013

Unite national officer Dominic Hook said, “Unite is calling on the government and Lloyds to do everything possible to create options that will support UK banking, give customers choice and protect staff. The last thing staff and customers need is a fire sale of the branches which could lead to them falling into the wrong hands.”

Axa job losses

In April Unite expressed anger over Axa’s decision to close its bancassurance operation with the loss of 453 jobs.

Axa announced it is to cease face-to-face financial advice in the branches of National Australia Group (NAG) and Co-op. Unite challenged Axa over its reasons for the closure and the company responded is that one of the main factors leading to its decision are changes in regulation introduced as part of the ‘retail distribution review’ by the financial conduct authority.

Dominic Hook said, “Unite has already secured a commitment from Axa to do everything possible to explore redeployment opportunities for the affected workers.” The job losses affect workers across the UK based in NAG and Co- op bank branches.

PA Photos

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