Union reps to meet political leaders after Shop Direct announcement
Thursday 12th April 2018 @ 17:59 by Nigel Skinner
Business Chadderton Failsworth Hollinwood Lees News Oldham Town Royton Shaw

Trade Union representatives will meet with political leaders tomorrow to explore what can be done to persuade Shop Direct to retain their facilities in the North West and safeguard up to 2,000 jobs locally.

Usdaw reps will be meeting with MPs Debbie Abrahams and Jim McMahon, plus Cllr Jean Stretton, leader of Oldham Council, at Oldham Civic Centre, to explore options.

It comes after yesterday’s announcement by the online retailer that it intends to close its remaining sites in Greater Manchester, impacting close to 2,000 jobs.

The company, which owns Very.co.uk and Littlewoods.com, plans to close its sites in Shaw, Little Hulton and Raven from mid-2020 onwards and move operations to a new automated warehouse in the East Midlands.

The move has put the jobs of 1,177 Shop Direct employees and 815 agency workers at risk.

Mike Aylward – Usdaw Divisional Officer says: “Our members are understandably upset, angry and frustrated by yesterday’s announcement. We are extremely disappointed that the company has made these plans without first speaking to Usdaw, as the recognised trade union, or local politicians to see what can be done to keep the jobs in the North West.

“We at Usdaw do not regard this as a done deal. We are meeting tomorrow with the local MPs and Oldham Council to see what we can do together to make the company have a rethink.

“Next Thursday we have convened a summit of all Usdaw reps in Shop Direct to formulate our response to the company’s plans. We will then enter into consultation meetings to interrogate the details of the business case for the closures and challenge the plans for relocation.

“We are also grateful to the Mayor of Greater Manchester for his support and we look forward to him meeting our officials and reps in due course.

“This is a very difficult and distressing time for staff and we will be doing everything possible to save jobs here in the North West and support our members through this process.”

Jim McMahonMP for Oldham West and Royton, said: “This is terrible news for people employed at the sites due for closure including, Shaw and Raven Mill in Oldham.

“Many of my constituents working here will be concerned about the future, and it is vital focused support is given to them.”