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Tesco to close Fenny Lock DC

Tesco is to shut its Fenny Lock, Milton Keynes DC, just weeks after Stobart revealed it was shedding jobs it had inherited from the retailer when it took control of the site in December.

The supermarket giant has entered a consultation period with 764 distribution and warehousing employees over proposals to close its Fenny Lock DC, and transfer work to a new logistics hub in Daventry, Northants.

Tesco had gradually been winding down work at the site, transferring Fenny Lock transport and vehicle maintenance operations and 111 staff to Stobart Group in December. However, on 14 February, Stobart confirmed it was looking to make 87 out of the 111 employees who had transferred redundant.

A Tesco spokeswoman says: "The site at Fenny Lock is now over 20 years old and can no longer provide the space needed to hold the range and volume of products needed to supply our stores for the future."

The new Daventry facility is 60% bigger than the existing site. "It also offers on-site rail freight facilities that can handle up to 12 trains every day, helping us to further reduce freight travelling by road," the Tesco spokeswoman adds.

Tesco says all affected employees will be offered the opportunity to work at the Daventry DC, but trade union Usdaw, which is representing staff at the site, has described the announcement as "devastating".

Joanne McGuiness, Usdaw national officer, says: "This is absolutely devastating news for the economy of Milton Keynes. There are entire families affected by this decision, and with five people already chasing every vacancy in town, it really couldn't have come at a worse time."

The consultation will be concluded by the end of June.

Source : Joanna Bourke - Road

07 March 2011
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