Plans announced today by AIB to cut 1,500 jobs over the next three years must be postponed, according to independent TD Michael Fitzmaurice.
The State-backed bank noted that it will reopen its voluntary severance programme, which was previously paused in March, early next year.
Commenting on the developments this morning, Fitzmaurice said: “Given that we are in the midst of a global pandemic, I feel it is too early for AIB to be pressing ahead with this plan. Management must rethink this approach and consider alternatives.
“The pandemic has impacted every aspect of society and many people are still depending on the Covid pandemic unemployment payment as their only source of income.
“We will continue to feel the effects of this pandemic, both socially and economically, for months to come. Because of this, it is too early for a State-backed bank to be pushing this reduction in staff numbers.
“Workers must not be pressured into taking a redundancy package in the midst of a pandemic just because the bank’s hierarchy are impatient to forge ahead with this plan.
“While there may have been a significant jump in the use of online banking and usage of the bank’s mobile app in recent months, there will be still be a considerable number of people who would prefer face-to-face transactions.
“Just because the majority of customers may be capable of completing online transactions, it doesn’t mean that those who aren’t as tech savvy should be abandoned.
“Meanwhile, I would also like to welcome the European Banking Authorities decision to reactivate its guidelines on payment moratoria. The new end date for these guidelines is March 31st, 2021, having ended previously in September,” he concluded.