Financial advisers at the Co-operative Insurance Society have voted for a national strike next week over new contracts that unions claim could leave them 30% worse off.
The 2,000 advisers voted by a majority of two to one to walk out next Tuesday and Wednesday after being offered the option to sign new contracts or be sacked by the CIS, according to retail union Usdaw.
The advisers will be holding a national rally in Manchester on 27 September to lobby CIS managers and persuade them to reconsider their proposal to sack workers who won’t sign the new contracts before the 17 October deadline.
“These hard working advisers have taken this action as a last resort after months of talks,” said CIS national secretary Merdy Briggs.
“We’ve always accepted the need for the change, but after months of negotiations the Co-op, which makes so much of its ethical trading policy, has offered our members a simple choice – lose money or be sacked.
“These advisers have made millions for the Co-op and the overwhelming vote for strike action proves how angry they are about the cavalier way they’ve been treated by a company which claims to be morally led in the way it treats its staff,” she added.
Stephan Pater, chief operating officer at CIS, said the group was “very disappointed that we are facing the prospect of industrial action when our proposals are, ironically, all about preserving jobs and growing our business”.