Aviva says to cut up to 950 jobs in Ireland

19th October 2011, Comments 0 comments

Insurance giant Aviva announced plans Wednesday to cut up to 950 jobs in Ireland as it combines its operations in the Republic and in Britain, in a move condemned by unions.

The British company said it planned to make cuts in its Irish division and in its European business, which is based in Ireland.

"Following a detailed structural review, Aviva is proposing to make its Irish business part of a new UK and Ireland region, aligning many of the activities and services provided for customers," it said in a statement.

"These proposed initiatives could result in a total reduction of up to 950 roles in Ireland over two years, subject to consultation, comprising 180 roles from Aviva Europe and 770 from Aviva Ireland."

Aviva said the move would "strengthen the business and create a leaner cost base".

A spokesman for the Unite union in Ireland, Brian Gallagher, said staff were "absolutely devastated" and the process had been "unnecessarily hard" on employees, with "appalling" communication from Aviva.

"The axe has fallen harder and sharper than the worst fears of staff," he said, quoted by the Irish Times.

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) said last week that Ireland needed to do more to combat stubbornly high unemployment, despite "good progress" in cutting its fiscal deficit which made its long-term prospects brighter than other debt-laden eurozone members.

© 2011 AFP

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