Twelve jobs feared to be at risk at Athlone ACC branch

Up to 12 employees of ACCBank in Athlone are at risk of losing their jobs, following this week’s announcement that the lending institution is to cut 200 jobs and close 16 branches around the country.

The Athlone branch, located at the Kilmartin N6 Centre, Dublin Road, has been named as one of the branches earmarked for closure over the next year.

The “approximately 12 people currently employed in Athlone branch” will have the option to apply for another role at ACCBank, or to apply for a severance package, according to ACC.

SIPTU is to enter into talks with ACC, beginning next Tuesday, in the hope of protecting as many jobs as possible.

“Our approach will be to get detailed information regarding the branches to be closed and the proposed redundancies, and to see if some offices can be saved,” said SIPTU branch organiser Owen Reidy.

“We want to protect as many jobs as possible, and there should be scope for employees to be redeployed. The Athlone branch is hugely important to its members, as is every branch.

“We will be seeking to minimise the number of redundancies and to ensure that any redundancies that do take place are voluntary. It is essential that the staff members are fully involved in the process as they are central to a successful outcome. Our aim is to preserve as many jobs as possible, as well as ensuring the underlying viability and future of the bank.”

The 200 job losses are to occur both at the bank’s head office in Dublin and across the branch network, with the 16 branches closing on a progressive basis between October 2009 and April 2010. A total of nine branches, including one in Mullingar, will remain open.

In a statement released by ACCBank this week, the lender said the global financial crisis, sharp deterioration in the Irish economy, and collapse of the Irish property market had severely impacted the bank’s financial performance in 2008.

Both payroll and non-payroll costs are to be reduced by a minimum of 30 per cent per annum.

“We are in volatile times with global financial systems in a period of radical change, and the broader Irish economy unlikely to recover for at least another two years.

“These measures reflect the need to prioritise where we use our skilled resources at this time, and our anticipation that 2009/2010 will continue to be difficult,” said CEO Rob Hartog.

“The decision to implement these changes at ACCBank has been a very difficult one to make, and we will be working with trade unions and employee representatives to determine how best to implement them over the next few weeks.”


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