Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Make Decision on Bank Jobs; Northern Rock Rock's Boss Urged by MPs to Act Quickly for Staff

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Make Decision on Bank Jobs; Northern Rock Rock's Boss Urged by MPs to Act Quickly for Staff

Article excerpt

Byline: By GARETH DEIGHAN

NEW Northern Rock boss Ron Sandler must make decisions about jobs now, MPs have urged.

Newcastle Central MP Jim Cousins, a member of the House of Commons Treasury Committee, said Mr Sandler needs to take early decisions about jobs and the future of Northern Rock - despite being allowed weeks to produce a business plan by the Government.

Mr Cousins said: "The Government has asked him if he can produce a business plan for the future in the next few weeks.

"But I don't think we can wait that long for decisions about jobs and other things.

"We need a decision about what scale Northern Rock is going to sell mortgages on. Hundreds of jobs depend on it. We can't wait for two months to find out."

Mr Cousins added: "Mr Sandler has only been in the job for a couple of days but he was appointed in case nationalisation happened a couple of months ago so surely he has been thinking about the future of the firm since then."

And Mr Cousins' view was backed up by Doug Henderson MP.

The Newcastle North MP, whose constituency includes Northern Rock's headquarters, said: "I think we need quick decisions.

"We need to know how he is going to take the company forward and we need an early business plan."

He added: "I shall be meeting the trade unions today to hear further about yesterday's meeting with Mr Sandler and offer what assistance I can to take things forward."

Last night Unite union bosses, who represent most of the 6,000-strong Northern Rock workforce, met with Mr Sandler to discuss his plans. Unite wants the legislation for public ownership - set to be put to parliament today - to be strengthened to ensure there are no compulsory redundancies and for the Government to compensate any voluntary redundancy at the highest European standards.

Graham Goddard, Unite deputy general secretary, said: "Unite is demanding that the Government gives clarification on the long term job security, terms and conditions and pension protection for staff. …

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