Unite, the recognised trade union in Barclays, has expressed its alarm at the announcement today (Wednesday 4 March) that the bank is closing a major processing centre in Leeds with nearly 800 jobs lost and cutting another 345 jobs across the country.
Barclays has today informed around 800 staff in its Millshaw Court office that the centre will permanently close by the end of the year. Unite has for a long period been urging the bank to redeploy staff to an alternative office in Leeds when the current lease ends in 2021, rather than lose hundreds of committed and experienced staff.
In a further blow Barclays has also announced today a further 345 staff cuts across the country including 157 jobs cut in Coventry. The Barclays Coventry workforce has already faced a large number of job losses in recent years. Of this number around 15 of the roles are being transferred to India, and 20 people will work remotely from home.
Dominic Hook, Unite national officer, said: “The sheer scale of the job cuts announced today by Barclays is alarming. The decision to close the major Barclays’ site in Leeds will be devastating for the workforce and the local community.
“Unite has argued for some time that the bank has a social responsibility not to walk away from its committed workforce in Leeds. Today is indeed a dark day for nearly 800 people who have worked relentlessly to deliver the highest customer service for Barclays customers.
“To add to the misery today within Barclays the news of a further 345 staff cuts in over 20 locations is deeply troubling.
“Unite is from today supporting our members across the country as they absorb the news that Barclays is closing its site in Leeds and making major job cuts in Coventry as well as many other key workplaces.
“This is clearly a time of immense uncertainty and worry for the workforce. The union is working with Barclays to put into place every possible remedy to support the staff in finding suitable alternative employment and offering advice and support to assist colleagues, including redeployment wherever possible.”
Of the job losses announced in Leeds today around 70 staff will be offered redeployment in the city. The bank has stated that it is the landlord’s decision to redevelop the Leeds site which has brought this decision. The union has strongly argued for Barclays to relocate the current workforce to an alternative location within the local area.