HIGH ST JOBS BLOODBATH
BOOTS AND JOHN LEWIS ANNOUNCE 5,300 WORKERS ARE AT RISK HOURS AFTER CHANCELLOR REVEALS £30BN RESCUE PACKAGE
THOUSANDS more jobs are set to go on the high street as firms continue to announce cuts.
Less than 24 hours after chancellor Rishi Sunak delivered a desperate £30billion package designed to keep people out of the dole queue, a series of businesses pulled the trigger on lay-offs.
Boots has said it expects to axe more than 4,000 jobs to mitigate the ‘significant impact’ of coronavirus. John Lewis announced it will permanently close eight of its stores, putting 1,300 workers at risk, while Burger King UK’s boss said up to 1,600 staff could be let go as a result of the pandemic.
Meanwhile, more than 3,000 British workers have applied for redundancy at Rolls-Royce, with many leaving in the next two months. Many high street names were struggling before the pandemic but up to 150,000 job cuts have been announced by British employers since lockdown began.
Overall around 75,000 job losses were announced last month.
The Office for National Statistics has suggested that 600,000 UK workers lost their job in May alone, while vacancies slumped to a record low.
The job losses are a swift reality check
after Mr Sunak raided the Treasury once again to prop up UK plc.
His mini-Budget included a £1,000 ‘jobs retention bonus’ for business who bring workers back off furlough, and halfprice meals out. A grim-faced chancellor conceded yesterday that he could not protect all workers, and the UK was on track for a ‘severe’ recession.
The move by Boots will affect about seven per cent of the company’s workforce, particularly those in its Nottingham support office. Boots boss Sebastian James said the ‘decisive actions’ would ensure the company’s ‘profitable longterm growth’.
John Lewis said the decision to close eight stores was made to ‘secure the business’s long-term future and respond to customers’ shopping needs’.
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