Unite has arranged urgent meetings with the management of Aviva after an announcement on Thursday (June 6) that the UK insurer would be shedding 1,800 jobs globally over the next three years in an effort to reduce costs.
The announcement came from Aviva CEO Maurice Tulloch who confirmed the news at an investor’s day briefing.
Tulloch also said the company would be splitting the life and general insurance arms of its business and would manage them separately. The firm said it aims to achieve £300m in cost savings each year by 2022, and that it will try to achieve savings by ‘natural turnover’ and voluntary redundancies.
Unite Aviva officer Andy Case said the workforce was “shocked” by the news.
“The scale of this role reduction will be met with disbelief across the company,” he said.
“Unite have arranged urgent discussions with Aviva management in order to ascertain the rationale for cutting an already extremely stretched workforce,” he added. “Unite has made it clear to management that the union will strongly challenge any attempt to make compulsory redundancies. Instead, any staff reductions must be found through volunteers, natural attrition, reducing reliance on contractors and redeployment.”
Unite workplace representatives will be at Aviva locations over the coming days and months to support the workforce through what will be a time of significant change and upheaval.
Aviva currently employs over 16,000 staff at all grade across the UK and Northern Ireland, with UK sites in London, Norwich, York, Dorking, Bristol, Perth, Sheffield, Eastleigh and Glasgow.