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UK DIY News

More than 1,000 jobs at risk after B&Q shake up

www.bbc.co.uk

More than 1,000 warehouse jobs are at risk in England and Wales after a distribution shake-up by DIY firm B&Q.

The company is pulling out of centres run by third-parties in Runcorn, Coventry, Chepstow and Swindon.

Instead, a £77m distribution centre will open in Swindon, creating 550 jobs. Another 250 jobs will be created at B&Q's site in Worksop, Notts.

Unions are now being consulted about the changes, which will come into force from January 2012.

B&Q said the re-organisation followed a review of its distribution strategy.

In a statement, it said the changes would improve customer service, reduce transport costs and CO2 emissions.

But it means employees based in seven partner centres run by DHL, Kuehne and Nagel and Wincanton are facing possible redundancies.

"B&Q will continue to work closely with its third party partners to ensure thorough consultation is completed with proper and fair arrangements made for all affected employees along with every option explored for minimising redundancies," a spokesperson said.

All three companies affected are consulting staff and say efforts will be made to redeploy them to other sites.

One of the biggest sites is DHL's distribution centre in Preston Brook, Runcorn, where 615 staff are affected.

A spokesman said the firm had entered into talks with the Usdaw union.

"DHL will work with those affected, and in partnership with Usdaw, to identify opportunities elsewhere within the DHL business," he added.

"The local management team would like to sincerely thank the team at the Preston Brook site for their ongoing dedication during this difficult time."

Another logistics firm, Wincanton, said every effort would be made to secure future employment for its staff.

"It is too early to say how many affected employees will be made redundant," a spokeswoman said.

08 June 2010
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Thank you for the excellent presentation that you gave at Woodbury Park on Thursday morning. It was very interesting and thought-provoking for our Retail members. The feedback has been excellent.

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Martin Elliott. Chief Executive - Home Hardware.
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