The future of Galway’s Aviva operations, employing more than 200 people, is still uncertain with UNITE warning the contents of a leaked document outlining the company’s restructuring plans is, for the moment, “speculation”.
UNITE regional officer Brian Gallagher confirmed last evening a meeting was held with the newly-appointed chief executive of Aviva’s Irish operations Sean Egan at 3pm yesterday, and that union officials attempted to gain clarity on the insurance company’s restructuring plans. This crisis meeting comes in the wake of revelations earlier this week regarding the contents of a leaked document outlining plans by Aviva to shut down its entire network of 26 branches around the country by June of next year.
This newest revelation emerged as Mr Egan replaced Galway native Dermot Browne as chief executive. It is understood Mr Browne, who only stepped up to the role last February, had been unhappy with the radical overhaul of the company. Last month it was revealed Aviva’s strategy, known as ‘Operation Accelerate’, could result in some 950 staff being made redundant, with a further 300 facing outsourcing of their jobs.
There has been mounting speculation this week that the 26 branches, including the Eyre Square branch which employs 10 people, could close by next June, but that the call centre in Knocknacarra, which employs 200 staff, may be kept on to deal with customer queries and care. It is further believed that some jobs from the Eyre Square branch could be transferred to Knocknacarra.
However, Mr Gallagher told the Advertiser yesterday evening that it is too early to confirm whether or not jobs in Galway will be retained.
“At the meeting today [Wednesday] we called for more clarity and asked for detailed proposals to be made available. We expect the proposals by early next week. At the moment we don’t know what will happen in Knocknacarra and the Eyre Square branch, there is on-going speculation since the document was released,” said Mr Gallagher.
UNITE, which represents some 1,400 workers at Aviva Ireland, has vowed to continue to seek clarity on the situation.