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L&G delays Kingswood closure as staff vote on strike

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Legal & General has delayed the closure of its flagship office in Kingswood until 2018 while a ballot opens on industrial action.

The final vote, opening this Friday, will determine whether Unite members go on strike and follows September’s consultative ballot which saw 68 per cent of members vote in support of action.

The ballot opens this Friday 11 December and closes on 4 January 2016.

In June, Mortgage Strategy’s sister title, Money Marketing, revealed L&G was moving out of the Surrey office during 2017 putting around 1,550 at risk.

In response L&G announced it would postpone the closure until 2018 and offered some staff the option of relocating to Hove, Cardiff, Wittam, London and Birmingham.

Unite regional officer Ian Methven says: “Our members are not interested in a mere ‘stay of execution’, they want L&G to seriously look at ways that the profitable Kingswood site can remain open and the 1,550 jobs can be saved.

“Kingswood remains a centre for hundreds of highly skilled  pension specialists and financial experts, whose loss would have a clear impact on L&G’s ability to serve its customers. Closing Kingswood is simply the wrong decision for staff and customers.

“As L&G are refusing to enter into serious negotiations, our members have been left with no option but to proceed with a final industrial ballot ahead of strike action.”

An L&G spokesman says: “No decision has been taken on the potential closure of the Kingswood site. Unite and Legal & General have both agreed formal consultation has concluded on potentially closing the site.

“As part of the agreement, they’ll be no compulsory redundancies if the site closes, and Unite and Legal & General have agreed all other key terms for employees.

“We are disappointed that the ballot is being undertaken now given no decision has been made to exit Kingswood and after the conclusion of positive consultation.”

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