27 February 2017

We will defend Liverpool jobs CWU warns as iPSL refuses talks at ACAS

CWU today vowed to step up the campaign to save 170 Bootle jobs at cheque processing company iPSL as the company turned down the option of going to ACAS to avoid a “needless breakdown in industrial relations.”

The iPSL announced last year it is planning to close the Bootle site sometime during 2018, as part of site closure programme which would move work to two sites in the Midlands. This two site solution would end cheque processing in Bootle after 50 years; a plan which the CWU has challenged. The issue has become more urgent as the preliminary work for the changes led to three jobs being moved to Northampton. While talks resolved two cases, one person remains under threat of redundancy.

CWU National Officer Nigel Cotgrove explains: “We’re not looking for confrontation and want to resolve this issue so that we can concentrate on the wider threat to the site and the urgent challenge of keeping quality jobs in Liverpool. While only one person is at risk at the moment this will set the pattern for the future. We have offered to continue talks at ACAS but iPSL has turned this down.

“We have a long track record of dealing with restructuring and job losses through a voluntary process but iPSL want to move away from this and force compulsory redundancy when there are other options available.

“The absurdity of the current situation is that, at present, only one of our members is under threat of compulsory redundancy and we are convinced that a satisfactory solution for all parties can be found if dialogue is maintained.”

Andy Kerr, Deputy General Secretary (Telecoms & Financial Services) added: “The CWU’s door remains wide open to further discussions, but iPSL is refusing to go to ACAS. We can only conclude that iPSL is seeking to provoke a dispute to provide an excuse to move work away from Merseyside. iPSL needs to change tack and seek a negotiated agreement to avoid a needless breakdown in industrial relations and disruption to cheque processing across the UK.”

Notes to editors

· The CWU represents about 170 staff at iPSL Bootle, which is based in Bridle Road inside the giant Santander site.
· iPSL processes 80% of the UK’s cheques for major banks including Santander, HSBC, Barclays and Lloyds.
· Last year the Company announced that it was to close 7 of the 9 UK sites including Bootle during 2018 as a result     of the move to image processing of cheques by 2018.

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