HUNDREDS of insurance workers in Liverpool were last night told their jobs were safe.
The assurances were given to staff at offices in Water Street and Moor-fields following an announcement that 2,350 posts are to be lost nationally.
The job losses result from a plan to send work to call centres in India. Norwich Union - whose current ad campaign features the phrase 'Quote Me Happy' - employs around 660 people in total in Liverpool.
In Liverpool, 120 underwriters posts are to go by June as work is transferred to Delhi and Bangalore. But the company said alternative jobs would be offered to affected staff from the small business insurance centre in Moor-fields.
The firm said that work transferred to India would be replaced with work from other parts of the UK, mainly Sheffield and Newcastle.
The news caused confusion around Norwich Union offices across the country when the announcement was made yesterday.
Angry staff claimed they had fallen victim to the growing practice of sending work to countries with cheaper labour. They also believe the only alternative jobs on offer will be less well paid.
Ben Welsh, head of corporate affairs at Norwich Union, said: "The people working in Liverpool will still have jobs and will be doing important jobs for our company.
"Nobody working in Liverpool is going to be made redundant as a result of the announcement. We have 660-odd people working here and there will be no change in their terms and conditions.
Some of the work we currently do in Liverpool is moving to India next year - that work will be supplanted by work coming into Liverpool from other parts of the country, in particular Sheffield and Newcastle. We are committed to the people working in Liverpool, who are still doing an important job in our company.
"We are moving work into Liverpool and moving work out of Liverpool, but I guarantee nobody working in Liverpool for Norwich Union will be made redundant as a result of the announcement that's been made today.
"Insurance is a highly competitive market place, driven by customer demand for value for money products and services.
"We have thought really carefully about what we've done and the vast bulk of our activity will remain in the UK.
"Our main concern is to ensure that as many people as possible are looked after and we keep redundancies to a minimum."
Workers' union Amicus said the announcement was "deplorable" and had given thousands of workers a Christmas present of an uncertain future.
Union officials warned of at least 500 compulsory job losses.
Richard Harvey, group chief executive of Norwich Union parent company Aviva, said: "We are operating in an increasingly competitive environment.
"Our staff in India are an important part of this process and our experiences to date have been positive."