500 workers at Tesco Direct in Bletchley have received the devastating news that the distribution centre there is set to close. Milton Keynes South Parliamentary Candidate Hannah O’Neill was quick to respond in the fight to protect workers and local communities who have so much to lose from the closure.
Hannah O’Neill, Parliamentary Candidate for Milton Keynes South, was angered and saddened to learn that Tesco plan to shut its Fenny Lock distribution site and put 500 local jobs at risk. She said “Every job loss will have an impact on every individual, their family and community. It’s a devastating blow for Bletchley and, whilst I will be appealing to Tesco to explore alternatives to the immediate closure, we must begin the campaign to ensure Tesco offer support to their staff, help re skill them and secure alternative work”.
Tesco, who recently reported annual pre-tax profits of £1.3bn, announced it is to shut online website Tesco Direct, leading to the closure of its distribution centre in Fenny Lock, Bletchley, in July. Profitability of the website arm of the business has been cited as the reason behind the decision to shut the online shop which sells non-food items such as homeware and clothing.
Hannah added, “It is hugely concerning that a company which has seen profits soar over the last year should find itself in a situation where it is closing part of its business and causing hardship to workers. We again need to be calling on Government to end the turmoil in the retail sector and create a level playing field for our high streets by ensuring online retailers are paying a fair amount of tax.“
Officials from trade union Usdaw are set to enter into consultation talks with Tesco and, like Hannah, will want to look closely at the business case for the proposed closure.
Hannah concluded, “Along with Usdaw, our priority in the Labour Party will be to offer support, advice and representation to workers and help them get the best deal.”