Union attacks Anglican church over redundancies

Ecclesiastical,
the Anglican church’s insurance company, is sacking 80 staff without prior
warning despite an underwriting profit of more than £5m last year.

Finance
union Unifi said the company was reneging on its agreement to consult at the
earliest possible stage to avoid compulsory redundancies.

Ecclesiastical,
which employs 900 staff nationwide, is run to generate profit for the Anglican
Church and the company says this ‘restructure’ is aimed at making an annual
saving of £1.25m.

Unifi
says Ecclesiastical’s 2002 profits were the highest since 1996 and half-year
predictions for 2003 show further increases.

Terry
Keefe, Unifi national officer, said: "This the fifth time in less than 12
months that the company has acted in this way – on one occasion with less than
24 hours’ notice. For a company that calls itself an ethical employer this is a
barbaric way to behave towards staff."

By Michael Millar

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