Following on from last week’s redundancy consultation period with nearly 4,000 staff at troubled retail chain Wilko, trade union officials hope that the amount of job losses can be minimalised, with GMB officials stating that after meeting Wilko bosses they were hopeful that job loses can be “reduced significantly from the thousands initially feared.”
Wilko, which has over 400 stores across the UK, recently recorded a massive 80% drop in full-year profits and subsequently reviewed its operating functions, with the changes required to “ensure it is best placed to continue to thrive within an ever-changing retail landscape.”
1000 new senior supervisor roles, along with a “significant amount” of customer services roles, would be created as part of the restructure.
Discussing the meeting between Wilko bosses and GMB officials, gary carter, GMB national officer, said: “This was the first of many discussions we will have with the company during the 60-day consultation.
“We will be having further, difficult conversations during the process.
“We’ve had people on the phone to us in tears – people who have been with the company 20 or 30 years.
“We all want to see Wilko as a thriving, sustainable business with a long term future.
“It is vital GMB helps the company keep any job losses to an absolute minimum.
“It is important to ensure adequate staffing levels in their stores to maintain an acceptable level of customer service – and to make sure Wilko staff are paid the living wage.
“We are encouraging Wilko to look at alternative ways to save money, which protect existing job roles.
“It’s a hazy picture at the moment, but we will be looking at each store individually with Wilko.
“There are going to be redundancies, but we are very confident these can be reduced significantly from the thousands initially feared.”
The news of redundancies at Wilko comes hot on the heels of the big three supermarkets, Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Asda, all announcing job cuts as part of an ongoing restructuring strategy.