'Slap in the face to long-serving workforce'

Unite to fight to save jobs as Argos announces closure of Somerset distribution centre

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Unite is committed to fight to save as many jobs as possible, following the announcement that Argos intends to close its distribution centre in Bridgwater, Somerset.

Unite understands that around 230 jobs are at risk, at the site which is now earmarked for closure in 2022.

Unite is seeking urgent meetings with the company at a senior level and will be exploring all avenues to preserve jobs. The union will be demanding to see the business case behind the closure decision, while also exploring if the number of job losses can be reduced or whether affected workers can be redeployed.

As Argos, which is now part of the Sainsbury’s group, owns the site, the union will also be exploring if there is the feasibility of the site being redesignated for an alternative use, which would also preserve jobs.

Unite regional officer Tim Morris said, “Our members at the Argos Bridgwater distribution centre have continued to work throughout the pandemic and their reward for this dedication, is to face losing their jobs.

“Unite will be holding an urgent meeting with the company to better understand why this announcement has been made,” he added.

“The union will fully engage in the consultation process and will explore all options to preserve as many jobs as possible in Bridgwater or at alternative locations.”

Unite national officer Matt Draper added, “This time last year key workers, like our members at Argos, were being lauded for helping keeping the country running. A year later they are being thrown on the scrapheap.

“Due to our members continuing to work, which risked their health and that of their families, Sainsbury’s has benefitted hugely financially. To now announce that the very same workers face losing their jobs is a slap in the face to a long-serving workforce.

“This announcement appears to be about boosting Sainsbury’s profits rather than treating its workers fairly and decently.”

By Barckley Sumner

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