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EDITIONS
Friday, 1 November, 2002, 19:17 GMT
Prudential gives in on Reading cuts
Prudential's building in Euston, London
Prudential wants to reform its pension scheme
Prudential has agreed not to force through 850 redundancies at its Reading call centre.

The job cuts would have been part of its plan to transfer call centre work to India.

Leaders of the Amicus union declared victory after the UK's second largest insurer agreed that nobody would have to leave the company against their will.

"The campaign by the workforce has brought the company back to the negotiating table," said general secretary Roger Lyons.

"The acceptance by the company of the 14-point plan avoiding compulsory redundancies is the best news for workers at Prudential."

Uncertainty removed

The plan covers both the 850 jobs at stake in Reading and 1,500 job cuts announced a year ago.

"We had a lot of people concerned that the uncertainty around the agreement was resolved, and that has now been resolved," said chief executive Mark Wood.

Mr Wood insisted that it was such concerns rather than threats of industrial action that changed Prudential's mind.

Pension scheme

Prudential and the Amicus union have also clashed over the Pru's plans to close its final salary pension scheme to new workers.

Prudential is proposing to replace its final salary scheme with a "defined contribution" plan under which investment risk will be borne by workers.

Amicus has repeatedly urged the company to cancel its plans.

Talks will continue next week.

See also:

17 Oct 02 | Business
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24 Jul 02 | Business
05 Apr 02 | Business
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