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Debenhams is taken over by its lenders putting thousands of jobs at risk

Date: 09 April 2019 Debenhams has rejected Mike Ashley’s rescue deal worth £200m because it was conditional on him taking over as the chief executive.
The company has been taken over by its lenders in a pre-pack administration deal which would allow the shops to continue trading. The move is expected to trigger store closures and jobs losses. It has also wiped out the shareholders including Mike Ashley’s 30% per cent stake which cost £150m to build up.
Usdaw National Officer Dave Gill says: This is more devasting news for staff who were already living under the uncertainty of possible store closures since last year. Once again, we urge the company to engage with Usdaw the trade union for all Debenhams staff. It’s crucial that the staff and their voice should be heard. We will continue to provide our members with the support and advice they need at this very difficult time.”

“Usdaw’s Save Our Shops campaign wants the Government to take urgent action to address the challenges facing retail. Three million people are employed directly in the retail sector and another 1.5 million jobs rely on the success of shops. In recent years, hundreds and thousands of jobs have been lost in retail, with large and small retailers alike closing their doors. If this was any other industry the Government would be stepping in to take some action.”

Notes for editors:
Usdaw (Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers) is the UK's fifth biggest and the fastest growing trade union with over 420,000 members. Membership has increased by more than one-third over the last couple of decades. Most Usdaw members work in the retail sector, but the union also has many members in transport, distribution, food manufacturing, chemicals and other trades.

Usdaw’s Save Our Shops campaign is calling for:
  • Economic measures to create a more level playing field between the high street and online retailing.
  • Fair pay and job security for retail workers – a minimum wage of £10 per hour, tackle zero-hours and short-hours contracts, investment in skills and training.
  • Government action to protect jobs in the retail sector. Retail jobs are real jobs – retail is a key part of the economy providing jobs and income for millions of families.
For Usdaw press releases visit: http://www.usdaw.org.uk/news and you can follow us on Twitter @UsdawUnion

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