Nordea’s anticipated cutbacks in staff will fall specifically upon the bank’s branch-network personnel who serve personal and business customers and perform related back-office duties. Trade Union Nousu represents Nordea employees and does not accept the staff cutbacks. Once again, Nordea’s plans display utter indifference and arrogance towards its customers in Finland and its bank personnel.
On 7–8 December 2017, Nordea started cooperation negotiations which were anticipated to lead to nearly 500 people in Finland losing their jobs. This is the first stage of a four-year rationalisation programme, the impacts of which seem mainly to fall on Nordea staff in Finland. In contrast, more employees have been hired in Denmark, despite its higher labour costs, and partly also in Sweden.
The total number of staff cutbacks consists of the total number of employees who are under threat of redundancy or of having to accept a support package agreement. According to Nordea, this figure is 424 at the end of the negotiations. Of the total number, approximately 140 so far have decided to take the support package or accept an equivalent solution.
In 2016, the financial sector joined the Competitiveness Pact whose goal, shared by employees and companies, was to improve the competitiveness of Finnish employment and companies, increase economic growth and create new jobs. With its activities, Nordea is communicating very plainly that it is not ready or prepared to join in the struggle to save Finland.
Quite the contrary. Some of the staff cutbacks relate to Nordea’s plans to transfer IT work and the back-office duties linked to customer assignments to its service centres in Poland and Estonia, due to their lower labour costs. There is currently no corresponding expertise sufficient for handling the duties in question in these countries and consequently this is expected to show up as errors and delays in customer service. In the last resort, the repair work of any errors and faults will fall on the already overburdened shoulders of the remaining Nordea staff in Finland. Unfortunately, previous transfers of work to low-cost countries have provided plenty of evidence to support this.
Large staff cutbacks will have a direct impact on the well-being and ability to cope of the employees still working at the bank, as well as the bank’s service ability.
“Genuine cooperation during these negotiations has been inadequate because all the figures were dictated from above. In addition, Nordea’s Finnish management have enthusiastically embarked on the implementation of the staff cutbacks, unlike in other Nordea countries. The plans are being put into action at an extremely fast pace,” says Nordea’s Chief Shop Steward, Paula Hopponen.
“At the same time as the number of employees is reduced, the bank wants to extend its service and opening hours and to unilaterally decide on work shifts that may vary considerably. Balancing work and leisure will become impossible,” Hopponen says.
For more information contact:
Chief Shop Steward Paula Hopponen, tel. +358 (0)50 304 82 41