On Monday ( coincidentally my birthday) my sister was informed that after 28 years her services will no longer be required by the bank she works for.

Or rather she was informed that her post is “likely to become redundant and she is likely to be displaced”
Decisions will be made in three months, then she may be displaced and three months later she will be on gardening leave.

Simply put, it is highly likely that she, the team leader, and her team of 50 and a similar sized group on the other side of the city, will be unemployed by the end of 2006….unless she can find another job in another part of the bank.

After 28 years of working from the counter up she has a lot of contacts, so if there is something she can fit into she stands a pretty good chance of getting it. Unfortunately, anything that comes up is probably going to mean a cut in the region of £8k, which on her salary is a big drop.

The reason for redundancies in a bank which disclosed record profits recently comes down to call-centres and regional bases, 24 hour-banking and cheaper staff.
Once upon a time , if you had an account in the North-East of England and a problem with it then you would be put through to one of these teams and they would sort it out, now you go through the call-centre and only if it is a difficult issue requiring a real understanding of banking will it be passed on. In other words the skilled work is drying up, and teams are being down-sized and amalgamated.

The majority of the team members are women, most started as cashiers then moved into the back office. (9-5 fits with child-care; the total package: salary plus health insurance, paid leave, save as you earn schemes and non-contributory pension, all added up to a good steady job, which is why so many of them have been working for the same bank since they were 16 year olds, clutching a handful of O-levels.

They jokingly describe themselves as ” institutionalised”.

There are some men, in fact the worst case is the member of my sister’s team who has just started maternity leave whose husband works in the team on the other side of the city.

So , this is the detail behind those one-liners on the news …” X company has announced they are to make 100 people redundant from their Anytown site”