The Communications Workers Union (CWU ) is calling on the Government to help maintain Postbank services, following a meeting with Postbank management yesterday (Thursday ) to discuss the future of staff at the company, including 170 workers in its Athlone call centre.
The Athlone workers face redundancy after the bank announced on Friday it is to wind down its operations across the country by the end of this year.
A meeting has already taken place in Athlone, on Wednesday evening this week, at which local Postbank staff expressed anger at being left in the dark regarding their future with the company. It is understood staff were informed on Friday that the bank intends to withdraw from the market, but they have not yet been told when this will happen nor what the process will entail.
Speaking following yesterday’s meeting between union representatives and management at Postbank’s headquarters in Dun Laoghaire, Dublin, Ian McArdle of the CWU said the union would make every effort to ensure as many jobs as possible are retained.
“The CWU’s objective is to ensure that the maximum number of jobs at Postbank are saved. We have met with management at Postbank to press for the continuation of service and jobs, including full consultation with the workforce at Postbank.
Mr McArdle also called on the management of An Post to urgently secure a replacement joint venture partner to keep Postbank open; “The Irish Government’s supports for the Irish banking sector to keep it afloat following years of profligate and reckless lending to a bankrupt property development sector is in marked contrast to the attitude from Minister Lenihan to the threat of the closure of Postbank. Workers and local communities are calling on the Minister to show the same level of resolve in maintaining Postbank services,” he said.
“Last Friday’s announcement of the closure of Postbank will be seen as a missed opportunity to provide straightforward savings and other bank services through the An Post network which is the most extensive branch network in the country.
Postbank, which is jointly owned by An Post and European bank BNP Paribas Fortis, employs over 260 people across the country. Its customer support centre is based in the Athlone Business Park on the Dublin Road.