Unions have condemned as irresponsible RBS’s briefing about a restructuring plan that could lead to 20,000 job cuts. The troubled bank claims employees found out about the plan via the media.
The part-nationalised banking giant will this week begin to split itself in two, to isolate the troubled areas of the business into a “bad bank” and allow the stock market to place a value on the remaining core operations.
About £300bn of unwanted assets will be placed in the bad bank, which led reports over the weekend to suggest that as many as 20,000 jobs would go – equivalent to about one in five RBS employees – on top of the thousands of positions already axed.
A scheduled meeting with the workers’ representatives today was the appropriate arena in which to discuss restructuring plans, the union warned.
Rob MacGregor, Unite’s national officer for the finance sector, said: “This is already an extremely worrying time for finance workers so it is distressing for those at RBS to hear rumours of more job losses like this. We expect a company like RBS to conduct itself more responsibly.
“Until we meet RBS for scheduled talks on the CEO’s strategic review, the workers and their union remain in the dark about the bank’s intentions.
“Unite’s team in RBS, however, will be making it clear to management that we will be vigorously opposing any compulsory redundancies and any attempt to outsource UK jobs.”
RBS’s global workforce is estimated to be about 170,000. RBS has already announced 2,300 UK job losses but these are and separate from the strategic review.
Unite has stated that it is prepared to work with the new management to bring about “orderly reorganisation”, as long as guarantees about job security are given and honoured.
RBS declined to comment ahead of making an official announcement on restructuring plans on Thursday, 26 February.