Union fury at rumours that Virgin plans to abandon commitment to Northern Rock staff

Northern Rock’s staff trade union has expressed “deep concern” at rumours that Virgin has abandoned its commitment to avoid redundancies at the beleaguered bank.

According to the BBC, staff numbers would be cut by about 1,000 if Virgin took over the running of company.

Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Group and Northern Rock’s own board have both made rescue offers for the Newcastle-based firm.

Graham Goddard, deputy general secretary at the Unite union, said: “This news will add to the anxiety already felt by Northern Rock employees. The union will meet with Virgin tomorrow to discuss its bid and get clarification on the impact on staff. Unite will oppose any compulsory redundancies.”

The union said it would also seek assurances about the long-term job security of Northern Rock employees.

“The staff of the bank remain its greatest asset – it is vital that the bidders recognise this,” Goddard added.

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