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The Food Retailer staff entering a period of uncertainty as the business seeks a Company Voluntary Arrangement

Date: 12 January 2017 Last year the Food Retailer Group Limited, bought a subsidiary company from the Co-operative Group. This subsidiary, since renamed The Food Retailer Operations Limited has 36 trading stores and a number of non-trading properties. They have now launched a Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA).
The company says that this proposal, if agreed by creditors and subject to consultation, would enable the business to dispose of all non-trading stores, which they say have been a substantial burden. However the company has also reviewed the viability of all their trading stores and propose to close 12 if the CVA is successful (see list below). The company believes that closing these shops and those currently not trading will provide greater security for the remaining stores.
 
John Gorle - Usdaw National Officer says: “This is a very difficult and troubling time for all staff, not least because the company is lodging a HR1, an advance notice of potential redundancies, for all 36 stores. 
 
“Usdaw will enter into consultation talks on the company’s proposals. We will interrogate the business case, prioritise saving jobs, keeping stores open and retaining as many staff as possible. If the worst should happen, the Co-op has offered to help support the redeployment of affected employees where possible and we will explore all avenues help members seek alternative employment.
 
“In the meantime our team of Usdaw reps and officials are providing the support, advice and representation members need at this very worrying time.”
 
Notes for editors:
 
Usdaw (Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers) is the UK's fourth biggest and the fastest growing trade union with over 440,000 members. Membership has increased by more than 17% in the last five years and by nearly a third in the last 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.
 
The 12 Budgens stores proposed for closure:
Jeffrey Street, High Street, Gillingham ME7 1AL
245/247  Greenwich High Road, Greenwich SE10 8NB
Unit 6 Motorway Services, Junction 4 M65, Blackburn BB3 0AT
Essington Road, Willenhall, Walsall WV12 5DT
Brunswick Road, Buckley, Flintshire CH7 2EG
The Horsefair, Hill Street, Wisbech, Cambridgeshire PE13 1AR
The Piazza, 27/31  Central Way, Paisley, Renfrewshire PA1 1EL
Unit A, Parc Avenue, Aberystwyth SY23 1PB
Trengrouse Way, Helston, Cornwall TR13 8RT
10 Oldway Centre, Monnow Street, Monmouth, NP25 3EN
Brutus Centre, Fore Street, Totnes, Devon TQ9 5RW
Upper Galdeford, Ludlow, Shropshire SY8 1QF

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

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