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GMB Union - Wilko Announcement

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WILKO - UPDATE - 11/09/2023

WILKO Update from the GMB Union Noticeboard.

Dear Colleague, 

We are incredibly sorry to have to share the devastating news that PWC have confirmed the previous offer being explored for the sale of hundreds of stores as a going concern has fallen through. 

There is now no prospect of saving the remaining store estate in its entirety and all Wilko stores will close by early October with DCs to close on Friday, 15th September.

Although separate bids may be made for leases of groups of sites, these deals will not secure jobs, although the option to take up new employment with the bidders for these sites is something we are now pushing for.

This is not the news our members or the GMB had been hoping for or working towards. 

We share the sorrow and anger of every Wilko team member today.

You deserved so much more than this and we will continue to work so you are treated with the respect you deserve during the remaining days and wind down and we will not stop working to ensure those responsible for this debacle are held to account in the future. 

Wilko was far more than a brand, a retailer or the products, it was the thousands of loyal team members now facing an uncertain future. It may have ceased genuinely being a family brand many years ago, but you, the staff kept the real family ethos of Wilko alive until the very end. We know it is the family you have made for yourselves that will be so sorely missed. 

PWC have announced the following further following redundancies: 

  • All Wilko stores will close by early October.
  • Both DCs will close by Friday, 15th September. 

The second tranche of store closures will be announced on Tuesday, 12th September, if you have not been informed by 10am your store is not in the first tranche.

The second round of store closures will take place between the 19 – 21st September and will involve 124 stores. 

Staff will be asked to work two extra days after the store have closed. Likewise, a small number will be required to stay on at the DCs for up to 14 days to assist with the decommissioning. 

Next steps for redundant staff members

You will be written to and provided with all the details necessary to claim your redundancy and notice pay. You will be paid up until your last working day by PWC, who will also ensure that you get paid any outstanding holiday. For those of you who have not had your statutory redundancy consultation, GMB are also working on failure to consult claims. This will pay varying amounts of money depending on the circumstances and we will be in touch shortly to confirm who is covered by these. 

GMB continue to do everything we can to save as many of your jobs as possible. We have always been open about looking at all the bids for the business and have always put our members’ interests first. 

We continue to work with Bassetlaw Council and the Welsh Government, alongside other organisations in trying to seek a buyer to reopen the distribution centres as soon as possible and call on retailers acquiring leases at former Wilko sites to offer preferential recruitment to the experienced and dedicated staff.

Your GMB National Team

Source: GMB Union

11 September 2023

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