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150 jobs under threat at Barnsley bearing factory

Unite union chiefs are calling for an urgent meeting with the management at the Koyo bearing plant in Barnsley, South Yorkshire, where up to 150 jobs are at risk.

Unite understands that the work will be transferred to one of the firm’s plants in Romania, following pressure from car makers who are demanding cheaper bearings for their vehicles.

If the plans go ahead, it will mean that half the production at the site could cease. It is expected that any job losses will hit all levels of staff, from the management down. The company employs about 360 workers.

This is terrible news for the workers, their families and the South Yorkshire economy.

“We understand that Koyo, which is Japanese-owned, is under pressure from car makers seeking cheaper bearings, hence the plans to move the production to Romania.

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_"The nature of the automotive sector is that the car giants dictate the prices that the company sells its products to them and the consequence of that is the loss of jobs at the Barnsley plant.

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_ “We want an urgent meeting with management to discuss the implications of the announcement that up to 150 employees could lose their jobs by December 2014."

– Richard Bedford, Unite regional officer

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Talks over Government agency jobs

Union officials will meet with bosses of a Government agency to discuss the loss of more than 350 jobs at the Rural Payments Agency in Northallerton.

Workers at the RPA have been told they will be offered jobs at sites in York or Newcastle, but for some employees the fear is they will not be able to make the move.

“This is a really bitter blow for us. Many people have been here for years and don’t want to move. For parents with young children it could add two hours travelling to the working day, and it may mean they can’t move out. Everyone feels really let down.”

– A Rural Payments Agency employee
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Direct Line job losses ‘a savage bolt from the blue’

Plans for around 2,000 job losses at Direct Line to reduce costs have been branded as “a savage bolt from the blue” by the country’s largest union, Unite.

Unite said that it had several hundred members working for the company but no union recognition.

The fact that Unite, the union with the largest number of finance sector workers in the country, has been refused recognition makes it easier for Direct Line to announce these savage cuts out of the blue.

Unite will continue to strongly oppose anti-union bias where it exists in the finance sector and will give all the support we can to our members at Direct Line on an individual basis.

– Unite national officer for finance Dominic Hook

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Direct Line revealed £94.3m profits for first quarter

Direct Line recently revealed £94.3 million profits for the first three months of 2013.

This was an increase of 47% on the previous year due to cost savings and unusually low weather-related claims.

Direct Line has said it is planning to cut 2,000 jobs to reduce costs. Credit: Press Association

However, the group, which also owns Green Flag and Privilege, also saw gross premiums fall 4.5% during the quarter to about £1 billion.

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Direct Line: Staff at risk will be dealt with 'fairly'

While we continue to invest in the business with the aim of winning in a market which is changing fast, it’s clear that we need to become more efficient to deliver the good service and value our customers expect.

We have not made these proposed changes lightly and understand the impact they will have on our people.

As we have done in the past, we will deal fairly and carefully with those impacted, and do all we can to support them through these changes.”

– Paul Geddes, Chief Executive Officer of Direct Line Group
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