Northern Rock jobs bombshell

MORE than 2,000 workers at mortgage lender Northern Rock are to be axed, the company confirmed today.Around one third of its 6,500 jobs will be cut by 2011, with most staff leaving in the first year.

MORE than 2,000 workers at mortgage lender Northern Rock are to be axed, the company confirmed today.

Around one third of its 6,500 jobs will be cut by 2011, with most staff leaving in the first year.

The Newcastle-based group was forced into an emergency funding bail-out by the Bank of England last year after soaring borrowing costs in the credit crunch.

Northern Rock plans to shrink its assets by around half, boost its deposit base and concentrate on top-quality mortgage lending to maintain its credit quality.

Union leaders said they would oppose any compulsory redundancies and would seek assurances that the Northern Rock work force would be reduced through voluntary means.

Graham Goddard, deputy general secretary of Unite, said: "News that staff numbers will be reduced as part of the restructuring plans for Northern Rock will cause further uncertainty for the work force.

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"The employees have already faced months of insecurity and anxiety about their future.

"We will be working to mitigate the implications of the recent crisis on the employees who have worked tirelessly to ensure there is a sustainable business in the future.''

Unite said it would be pressing the company for detailed plans and would do its best to make sure that workers' terms and conditions were protected.

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