London: Hibernian, one of Ireland’s largest financial organisations, has announced plans to move nearly 600 jobs to Bangalore, where its parent company Aviva already has a major back office operation.
In the first phase, 80 jobs will be lost in Cork, Galway and Dublin. As many as 500 more jobs will be transferred over three years, with the bulk of these due to come out of Dublin.
The workers’ union, Unite, expressed shock and anger at the loss of such a large number of good quality jobs, reports from Dublin said.
“There has been intense speculation but very little information since the decision was announced in the UK that Hibernian would be seeking savings of 50 million pounds from its European base,” said Unite national officer Jerry Shanahan. Speaking after a meeting with management, he said the news was ”a hammer blow to staff who have dealt with two previous reorganisations of the company in 2000 and 2004”.
He said the staff had been “wholly accommodating” in the development of significant operations outside Dublin, in Cork and Galway. He added: “We now face a greater challenge as the company has seriously narrowed the options.”
Ireland’s Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment Mary Coughlan expressed regret at the decision. She welcomed the phased nature of the job losses and called on F S, the national training and employment agency, to respond immediately to assist workers whose jobs are on the line.
Dublin will remain Hibernian’s corporate headquarters with overall responsibility for group strategy. Under the reorganisation Galway will be the main customer contact and call centre for general insurance.
Group chief executive Stuart Purdy said the loss of nearly 600 jobs was driven by cost considerations.