Press Release 84 Date 4.1.00
Subject: Attempt to save 275 jobs at Leamington Spa -with 7 pro-mutual resolutions for the Bradford & Bingley Spring Annual General meeting (AGM) -including a key resolution to protect Bradford & Bingley employees fails. Storyline: SOBS were 142 short of the magic 500 resolution documents needed to be sent to Bradford & Bingley to have these 7 resolutions included in the Societys Spring Annual General Meeting (AGM). Bob Goodall says “this means that the last chance to save the 275 jobs at Leamington Spa (plus the 90 going at New Barnet and the 70 agencies to close) -has certainly now gone but we will fight on!” Where was the Union of Bradford & Bingley? SOBS are disappointed and a little surprised not to have received the backing of the Union of Bradford & Bingley. Bob says “frankly it remains a bit of a puzzle why the Union is remaining so quiet while their members are sacked, or face the prospect of redundancy on a large scale in the future. “The Union had a splendid opportunity to fight back against this whole process by supporting our resolutions and it appears they chose not to take it.” SOBS put in the hard work; all the Union of Bradford & Bingley had to do was give their approval and remind staff of their perfect right to sign the resolutions if they were also members of the society.
It didn’t happen!” But Bob Goodall goes on to make a vigorous statement of intent. “The fight has just begun!” He says that “the 358 members of Bradford & Bingley who actively supported SOBS will be the basis of a sustained fightback for mutuality that our campaign will wage right up to the crucial vote on whether to convert in the Summer of 2000 making full use of national and local media. This may mean that jobs can be saved in the future and the job massacre that would follow conversion could be prevented. (unfortunately this may be little comfort for employees already sacrificed to cut costs such as at Leamington Spa to make profit for shareholders in anticipation of conversion. We could have stopped all this at the Spring AGM. The next chance to stop the Conversion process in the Summer of 2000 will be too late for these people.) If SOBS succeeds in keeping Bradford & Bingely mutual at the Summer 2000 vote -Mortgage customers can be protected from higher rates of interest that would follow conversion to a bank and savers can be protected from lower interest rates that will also occur. Bob Goodall adds “Keep the Bradford & Bingley mutual and good customer care and a local branch network can be maintained.”
Note to the Editor 1 To achieve the support of 358 members of Bradford & Bingley in a short space of time was impressive for a grass roots campaign with limited resources. Bob Goodall says “bear in mind that the carpetbagging corporation Murray Financial struggled to find 100 members of Leek United Building Society prepared to support them, although Murray had considerable resources at their disposal to advertise and lobby (and had a longer period of time than SOBs over which to do so). Note to the Editor 2 For a society to convert 75% of savers on a 50% turnout and a majority of borrowers voting -must vote in favour. Neither of these criteria was met when Bradford & Bingley members voted on the carpetbagging resolutions that started this whole process. In fact 60% of borrowers voting, voted against conversion. If this voting pattern remains the same when the converson vote is held in the Summer of 2000 Bradford & Bingley will remain a mutual building society. “SOBS will continue to put the pro-mutual message across in 2000.” Press Release by Bob Goodall co-ordinator “Save Our Building Societies” campaign tel 01727 847 370 (24hrs)