Home­base job fears

Dumfries & Galloway Standard - - NEWS -

Home­base staff in Dum­fries have been left fear­ing for their jobs af­ter the DIY giants an­nounced store clo­sures.

Aus­tralian own­ers West­farm­ers re­vealed up to 40 out­lets could be axed in the UK fol­low­ing poor sales.

And pro­jected fig­ures for this year look grim with the firm ex­pect­ing to lose £97m in the first half of 2018.

West­farm­ers paid £340m for the DIY chain in early 2016 and were re­brand­ing the stores un­der the Bun­nings name.

But af­ter a“dis­ap­point­ing” per­for­mance the Aus­tralian firm has put Home­base un­der re­view and ex­pect to ditch 2,000 jobs in Bri­tain.

There are 35 em­ploy­ees at the Dum­fries store and West­farm­ers are ex­pected to com­plete their re­view in June.

How­ever, a spokesper­son for the busi­ness said:“It’s too early to com­ment on which stores might be af­fected and our team will al­ways be the first to know of any up­dates.”

Wes­farm­ers said it had writ­ten down the value of the Home­base chain by £454m as a re­sult of poor trad­ing.

And man­ag­ing di­rec­tor Rob Scott said:“The Home­base ac­qui­si­tion has been be­low our ex­pec­ta­tions, which is ob­vi­ously dis­ap­point­ing.“

How­ever, the firm was en­cour­aged by the per­for­mance of stores which had be­gun trad­ing un­der the Bun­nings name.

Mean­while, shop­work­ers’ trade union Us­daw urged Home­base to start talks with them im­me­di­ately to en­sure work­ers are prop­erly rep­re­sented.

Na­tional of­fi­cer David Gill said:“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 the rep­re­sen­ta­tion and sup­port we can pro­vide.

“It is cru­cial that the com­pany lis­tens to the staff to make a suc­cess of the busi­ness.”

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