Zurich cuts 2,000 jobs in the UK

The
insurance arm of financial services company Zurich is to cut 4,500 jobs after
announcing a US$2 billion half-year loss.

The
cuts and disposal underperforming businesses are designed to save US$1bn by the
end of 2002. 

It
is understood that 2,000 of the 4,500 cuts are to be made across Zurich’s UK
and Asian operations. Because the firm’s Asian headquarters are in the UK,
losses are likely to be concentrated there.

The
Amicus union was quick to condemn the move. General secretary Roger Lyons said:
"Zurich has made this announcement in haste, instead of standing back and
looking at the longer term picture.

"I’m
not convinced that the policy of cutting now and regrouping later will have any
effect on the situation that Zurich finds itself in.

"I’m
calling on the company to get around the table with the union to look at
alternatives to cutting thousands of UK jobs," he said.

By Quentin Reade

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