L&G staff vote for strike action over Kingswood closure

Staff at Legal & General’s doomed Kingswood office have voted to go on strike following discussions between Unite the union and staff.

The union opened a consultative ballot for industrial action, which closed yesterday. There was a 68 per cent turnout for the ballot with 63 per cent of the total membership voting for action.

Unite regional officer Ian Methven says: “63 per cent of members in Kingswood have voted for strike action, a vote which underlines the frustration felt by dedicated and experienced staff who feel they are being cast aside.

“Following this result Unite have been promised new information and a serious approach to consultation from L&G, which we will review before consulting with our members.”

Unite says it is currently reviewing L&G’s proposals, but is is understood the firm wants to move 1,300 jobs to a number of locations with the majority at Hove and Cardiff.

An L&G spokesman says: “The consultation process with MCF and the Unite Legal & General team continues to be constructive, with all parties working together to get the best outcome for both employees and the company. We hope for the duration of the consultation process all parties will continue to work together to reach agreement on the proposals.

“We have made good progress on the items flagged by Unite, MCF and individual employees during the consultation process. We have been encouraged by Unite’s positive response to our proposals on various policies if the proposal to exit Kingswood proceeds.

“We have discussed and shared further detailed analysis on building capacity with both Unite and MCF, and we can confirm we will have capacity at our other locations to meet the future needs of the business in the event that we do exit Kingswood over the next two years.

In June, Mortgage Strategy sister-title Money Marketing revealed L&G was to close its flagship Kingswood office where 1,700 members of staff are based.

In August the insurer’s half-year results outlined it’s cost cutting strategy through the closure of non-core businesses as well as job losses and a review of its UK and US locations.

The firm is set to incur £40m in restructuring costs in a bid to deliver £80m of cost savings this year.