MPs unite in support of Usdaw members affected by the proposed closure of Tesco Cardiff call centre

Date: 21 July 2017 MPs last night debated Tesco’s proposed closure of their Cardiff call centre. The adjournment debate in the House of Commons was called by Anna McMorrin MP (Labour, Cardiff North).
Opening the debate, Anna McMorrin explained the impact of Tesco’s plans on Usdaw members in her constituency and quoted many that had been in touch with her for assistance. She also highlighted the major blow for the local community and economy the loss of over 1,100 jobs would have.

Turning to what the Government could do to help, Anna McMorrin MP said: “The Welsh Government’s Cabinet Secretary for Economy and Infrastructure, Ken Skates, has announced the formation of a taskforce to find new employment opportunities for the staff. That is a welcome development. It will pool the knowledge and resources of key partners to ensure that the 1,100 people currently working at the centre are provided with the very best support in seeking further employment, as well as welfare and emotional support. Following my question to the Leader of the House on 22 June, I ask the Minister before us to urge the Department for Work and Pensions to work with the Welsh Government and dispatch its emergency taskforce to help ensure that the staff who are affected are fully supported.

“While that work goes on, along with the Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers, I will be making the case for Tesco to rethink its plans and for better engagement with its workforce. If there is to be any outsourcing of jobs, at the very least I would like an assurance from Tesco and the management that they will go to companies based in south Wales.”

Secretary of the Usdaw Parliamentary Group - Ruth George MP questioned the Minister on a wider point of statutory consultation periods: “The period of statutory consultation, even for such enormous job losses, has been halved from 90 days to 45 days. Whatever support the DWP and Jobcentre Plus can put in is very welcome, but 45 days is far too short a period for so many jobs to be found in a city such as Cardiff. Although Cardiff has good employment levels, 1,200 good jobs cannot be replaced in such a short time. Will the Minister look at reviewing that halving to assist companies in supporting their employees?” Disappointingly the Conservative Minister replied: “I do not think there is any prospect of reversing that decision.”

Nick Ireland – Usdaw Divisional Officer says: “We are grateful to Anna McMorrin MP and her Labour colleagues for combining to raise directly with the Government the difficulties facing our members at Tesco’s Cardiff call centre.

“Consultation talks with the company are continuing and we expect them to continue for as long as it takes, regardless of the statutory period. Our priorities are to keep as many as possible in employment, whether that is with Tesco or other local employers, and to get the best possible deal for our members. In the meantime we are providing the help, advice and support Usdaw members need through this process.”

Notes for editors:

Usdaw (Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers) is the UK's fourth biggest trade union with nearly 430,000 members. Membership has increased by more than 20% in the decade. Most Usdaw members work in the retail sector, but the Union also has many members in transport, distribution, food manufacturing, chemicals and other trades.

Adjournment debate - Tesco House, Cardiff: Job Losses – 19 July 2017: https://hansard.parliament.uk/Commons/2017-07-19/debates/9CFE33A6-5154-42D0-9CFE-E5DD254C7B70/TescoHouseCardiffJobLosses

For Usdaw press releases visit: www.usdaw.org.uk/news and you can follow us on Twitter @UsdawUnion

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