There will be a lot of worried Aviva workers and their families in our city today after the company announced it is going to cut almost 2000 jobs across the whole business. We don’t know yet how many jobs will go at Aviva in Norwich yet but this announcement follows on from well paid, secure jobs going at other city key employers Britvic/Unilever and Heatrae Sadia.
I expect this Tory government to yet again shrug its shoulders and say that’s just the way of the world and claim that the precarious, badly paid jobs which have exploded in number over their term in office will make up for it. But whatever they say, that’s a result of their political choices over the last nine years rather than some kind of immutable law of dog-eat-dog, winner takes all economics.
It is absolutely possible to make an economy where companies make a fair return rather than loading the risks of business and negative consequences onto workers and the planet.
We can make the political choice to have an active industrial strategy that rebalances our economy so that the millions of people’s livelihoods are not perpetually vulnerable to an impatient, rapacious, rootless drive for profit that benefits only a tiny geographical part of the country and the few rather than the many.
I’m quoted in this article about the Aviva job losses and am talking with the biggest union on the Norwich site (Unite) about how best to protect the interests of Norwich workers at Aviva.