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Industrial Usdaw demands talks after Homebase moots jobs cull

SHOP workers’ union Usdaw demanded talks yesterday after DIY firm Homebase announced plans to close up to 40 stores with the potential loss of 2,000 jobs.

The firm said that between 20 and 40 of its “worst-performing” stores could close down.

Homebase which has 250 stores in Britain employing 12,000 workers, was taken over two years ago by Australian-owned conglomerate Bunnings in a £340 million deal.

The announcement follows what has been reported as a “miserable January” for high street businesses.

Supermarket chains Sainsbury, Tesco and Morrisons have all announced job losses, despite being in profit and handing out dividends to shareholders.

Usdaw national officer David Gill told the Morning Star: “Staff in Homebase stores are extremely concerned that Wesfarmers, the parent company of Homebase owners Bunnings UK, are reviewing the business after acquiring it barely two years ago.

“I have written to the company seeking clarification about their intentions and calling for them to involve Usdaw in the review to ensure the staff have a voice in their future.

“Usdaw is the trade union for Homebase staff and now more than ever they need representation and the support we can provide.

“It is crucial that the company listens to the staff to make a success of the business. We are providing our members with the support and representation they require throughout this difficult time.”

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