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Belfast - Unite stunned at the Prudential decision

You may have heard today that the Capita to Client (C2C) sales contract in Belfast has not been renewed by Prudential. Unite were informed, by Capita, of the likelihood of this a few days ago however we still hoped that Capita might be able to persuade Prudential that the decision is fundamentally wrong.

This decision could potentially put over 110 sales jobs in Belfast at risk.

Our understanding is that in 2008 C2C achieved all of the sales targets set and agreed by Prudential and Capita. Members in C2C have worked very hard to achieve these results and we are stunned that Prudential would make such a decision.

Capita are clearly also stunned after all it was only a few months ago when Phil Braithwaite himself who stood up in front employees in Belfast to say this contract would not be lost. However this is clearly one problem of working for an outsourcing company as ultimately Capita is not the final decision maker.

We believe that Capita has done all it can to continue with this contract however we are still at a loss to understand why the Prudential has made such a decision.

Economically is doesn’t make sense unless Prudential are going to TUPE employees back in and retain the work and workers in Belfast. Our understanding at this stage is that this is not their intention. We do not believe that this work can be done better or more economically elsewhere in the UK - certainly when you also factor in the potential costs of redundancy, training along with the risk of a loss of sales.

Even if this is not an economic decision but one of the Prudential wanting to have more direct control over its sales it would still make sense to keep this in Belfast. In Belfast we have a fully trained workforce which has proved beyond any doubt that they can do the work successfully.

So what happens next? Capita are talking to Unite and we will continue to consult with them. We are hopeful that the contract will continue into 2009. However we still need to secure a longer term future not only for C2C but for the whole Belfast site.

We are taking a strong line with Prudential as we feel this decision is wrong both morally and economically. During the current economic climate it would be disgraceful to make redundant 110 experienced sales people who have worked hard and achieved all the targets they have been set. Unite will give full backing to members wishing to defend their jobs. We are therefore urging Capita and Prudential to jointly talk to Unite over the coming weeks.

In the meantime please support and show solidarity for you colleagues in Belfast. For further information and future updates please visit www.uniteincapita.org