PM refuses to back campaign against Dixons Carphone factory closure

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But David Cameron promises to help 500 staff threatened with redundancy when retailer closes Wednesbury factory and moves roles 90 miles to Newbury

The Prime Minister David Cameron has refused to back a campaign against the closure of a Dixons Carphone factory in Wednesbury after being grilled by a local MP over the potential 500 jobs that could be lost.

Labour’s Adrian Bailey, MP for West Bromwich West where the factory is located, challenged Cameron over the closure, announced last month, at Prime Minister Questions today (June 2).

Bailey said: “The fragility of our economic recovery in my constituency is demonstrated by the impending closure of Dixons Carphone with the loss of 500 jobs and £8 million to the local economy.

“Will the Prime Minister intervene to keep Wednesbury working, to save these jobs, or at the very least ensure that company provides appropriate compensation and support for employees to secure alternative employment?”

Cameron, who was facing his first PMQs since returning from last month’s General Election with a Conservative majority, refused to respond directly to the question about trying to save the jobs.

The PM said: “I’ll look very closely at the case he mentions and obviously everything Job Centre Plus can do to find employment for those people should be done.

“Where Job Centre Plus can help with finding people work we’ll certainly make sure they do.”

Dixons Carphone plans to close the logistics and distribution centre, which is a legacy Carphone Warehouse site, with all work undertaken at the base moved to an existing site in Newbury – 90 miles away.

CWU slams Cameron

His lack of formal support came as Dixons Carphone forecasted pre-tax profits of £375 million for the last financial year.

Employees at the retailer have teamed with local politicians and the Communication Workers Union to campaign against the closure, which the CWU claims could cost the local economy as much as £8 million.

Speaking after PMQs, CWU general secretary Dave Ward slammed the Prime Minister and called on Dixons Carphone to reverse its decision. dave_ward_300cmyk_large

He said: “It is hugely disappointing that the Prime Minister did not take this opportunity to align himself with those employees of Dixons Carphone who wish to Keep Wednesbury Working. So much for compassionate Conservatism.

“The top priority of David Cameron should be to help keep people in their jobs, especially as only this morning the CEO of Dixons Carphone was celebrating an increase in sales that these 500 workers facing redundancy would have helped contribute to.

“Both the Prime Minister and Dixons Carphone should quickly rethink their priorities when it comes to these factory workers in Wednesbury.”

3 COMMENTS

  1. As an ex employee who they tried to move to acton from Hemel. I know that all employees being moved were offered £10k tax free over 18months same to the 50 workers here- this is a non story.

  2. The jobs aren’t being lost- they are being moved. If these people don’t want these jobs anymore because of the move that’s their call. There jobs are still there just at the companies main offices.

    Thousands of employees have lost their jobs due to the merger- this is just 50 jobs being moved an hour away. around 800 employees are being moved from Hemel to Acton thats a 2 hour commute to work.

    • 90 miles is hardly a one hour commute down the m6 m40 and A34.
      However there are other issues in that the area will suffer as a direct result this does nothing to encourage investment in the west midlands.
      It’s more that the jobs is still viable but moved to another, more expensive, area with no increase in pay or expenses to help elevate the extra costs or compensate moving family.

      Yes business needs to look at costs but it also has a duty (loyalty) to its workforce (?)

      I have seen a similar situation when orange transferred staff to Nokia (NSN) in that case the staff were told jobs had moved and they could either move with them or help train replacements and then lose the job . The catch is that it was outsourced oversees to Portugal from Bristol .

      One can’t help but look on these changes as unfair to a hard working workforce that contributed to the companies success.
      Not much of a reward or fair play.
      When it happens to someone else it’s explained away when it happens to YOU it’s different.

      One last point who picks up the tab for the loss of lobs…. The tax payer.

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