THERE are fears that jobs may be lost in South Derry following an announcement by Ulster Bank that it will reduce its workforce by a further 850.
Around 1,800 jobs in total will be shed over four years and will result in around 40 branch closures as management attempt to return the bank to profit.
While it’s still unclear which branches of the Royal Bank of Scotland’s troubled Ulster Bank division will be closed, the announcement earlier this week may affect Draperstown, Magherafelt and Maghera as well as Cookstown, Stewartstown, Aughnacloy and Dungannon.
The Northern Ireland deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness, who attended the annual conference of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions in Belfast today, said he was shocked by the Ulster Bank announcement and the way it had been made public was absolutely disgraceful.
“Banks in general on the island of Ireland have rightly had a bad Press over the course of recent times, not least because of the revelations with the Anglo tapes. Any announcement that sees the prospect of rural offices closing and people being thrown on the dole queue is very bad news indeed,” he said.
Mr McGuinness said he had been approached by workers seeking meetings with himself and First Minister Peter Robinson.
“The big difficulty is that the banks for far too long have been a law onto themselves,” he claimed.
“There is a huge responsibility on the Irish and British Governments, these people have more power and control over banks than a local administrations like ours. They have a job to do and a duty to bring banks into line.”
If you are affected by the closure of the Ulster Bank branches, get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org