Sandler revealed that up to a third of the troubled bank’s 6,500-strong workforce could lose their jobs by 2011 as he restructures the ailing business in the wake of its nationalisation.
Trade union Unite warned earlier today that it would oppose plans for compulsory redundancies.
Sandler moved to calm these fears when he said: “We will work sensitively with our staff and Unite to minimise the extent and impact of job losses.”
Regional development agency One North East is leading a taskforce called the Northern Rock Response Group, which has been set up to help those affected find new employment.
Sandler added: “I am determined that Northern Rock will remain a major employer in the North East with sufficient financial strength and stability to allow it to return, in due course, to the private sector.”
Graham Goddard, Unite deputy general secretary, said jobs could be saved by re-training and the exploration of alternative business opportunities.
“News that staff numbers will be reduced as part of the restructuring plans for Northern Rock will cause further uncertainty for the workforce,” he said.
“Unite will be pressing the company for detailed plans, and will oppose any plans for compulsory redundancies.”