Allstate confirms “transformative” restructuring plan amid fears of massive job cuts

Allstate opened its new Belfast headquarters in June 2018.
Ryan McAleer

ALLSTATE has confirmed the start of a ‘transformative growth strategy’ after senior staff were told that thousands of jobs may be shed across the US insurance giant’s global operation.

West Tyrone Sinn Féin MP Órfhlatih Begley said she had been contracted by concerned staff at Allstate following a video conference call from the group’s chief executive on Thursday afternoon.

She said the message was that “thousands of jobs are to be lost in the near future” at all levels.

Allstate currently employs around 47,000 worldwide, including 2,300 in Belfast, Derry and Strabane.

According to some reports, the company will seek to reduce its workforce by around 3,700 (eight per cent) from August, with a significant reduction of its real estate in North America also part of the plan.

However, it remains unclear whether the move is a response to the Covid-19 pandemic, or part of a longer term strategic restructuring.

A statement from Allstate NI yesterday suggested the latter: “Allstate has embarked on a transformative growth plan; a strategy designed to increase market share and build for the future.

“The plan requires a change to the way we operate and will enable us to move forward, even in this challenging external environment, to keep Allstate strong now and into the future.

“Allstate NI are fully committed to keeping employees informed at all times, we will be open and transparent about the next steps and will engage everybody and treat employees with respect.”

The announcement has prompted fears that the company will seek to make cuts in higher cost regional bases, including Northern Ireland.

Órfhlatih Begley said yesterday that there is some optimism that Allstate’s operation in the north will be shielded from the worst impact of the cuts.

But she called on the company to make any redundancy plans clear: "Staff must not left in the dark on any developments regarding the future of their employment, trade unions and staff must be consistently informed and their concerns taken fully on board,” she said.

In June last year, the Irish News revealed that Allstate was planning to open a new custom-built 850-seat office in Derry to boost its operations in the area and allow for expected staff expansion.

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