Man­age­ment and se­cu­rity jobs threat at shop­ping cen­tres Bull­ring and Grand Cen­tral cost cut­ting

Birmingham Post - - NEWS - Tam­lyn Jones Busi­ness Cor­re­spon­dent

SE­CU­RITY and man­age­ment con­trac­tors work­ing at Birm­ing­ham’s two largest shop­ping cen­tres have been told to slash their op­er­at­ing costs as they gear up for the busiest pe­riod of the year.

Ham­mer­son, which co-owns and man­ages the Bull­ring and Grand Cen­tral, has in­structed both VSG and ABM to re­duce their op­er­at­ing costs across ar­eas such as staffing, ad­min­is­tra­tion and ways of work­ing just weeks be­fore the Christ­mas shop­ping sea­son starts.

VSG op­er­ates the se­cu­rity con­tract, pro­vid­ing staff to cover ar­eas such as the main malls, ser­vice yards, car parks and overnight op­er­a­tions along­side ad­min­is­tra­tion and cus­tomer ser­vice du­ties.

ABM spe­cialises in fa­cil­i­ties man­age­ment ser­vices such as clean­ing, main­te­nance and house keep­ing.

A let­ter sent by VSG to its staff, seen by the Birm­ing­ham Post, said Ham­mer­son had set out a num­ber of cost sav­ing chal­lenges and in­structed it to re­duce its own op­er­at­ing costs by ten per cent.

It said: “We now face a num­ber of tough de­ci­sions to meet the cur­rent de­mands to make the ser­vice fit for the fu­ture mar­ket con­di­tions and de­liver the re­quired sav­ings.

“We have there­fore un­der­taken a num­ber of re­views, tak­ing into ac­count the cur­rent team struc­tures, ways of work­ing, cen­tre foot­fall and past in­ci­dence to en­sure there is no in­creased risk to em­ploy­ees and the cen­tres.”

Man­age­ment at VSG are now in con­sul­ta­tion with staff and its pro­posed changes are due to come into force on Novem­ber 1.

The com­pany de­clined to make any fur­ther com­ment.

ABM said in a brief state­ment : “As part of the ac­tiv­ity which ex­plores op­er­a­tional ef­fi­cien­cies at Bull­ring, a re­view of our team struc­ture on site is un­der way.

“We are cur­rently con­sult­ing with a small num­ber of in­di­vid­u­als who may be af­fected and are ded­i­cated to of­fer­ing re­de­ploy­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties where at all pos­si­ble.”

Ham­mer­son said the re­view into work­ing prac­tices af­fected all ar­eas of op­er­a­tions with its con­trac­tors and not just front-line staff.

A state­ment added: “As part of our re­shaped strat­egy, we have ex­plored a num­ber of op­er­a­tional ef­fi­cien­cies in col­lab­o­ra­tion with our long-stand­ing ser­vice providers. The re­view of our shop­ping cen­tre op­er­a­tions cov­ers all ar­eas in­clud­ing ad­min­is­tra­tion, re­cy­cling and waste re­moval plus in­vest­ment in new equip­ment and tech­nol­ogy de­signed to im­prove ser­vice per­for­mance and is not sim­ply re­lated to front-line staff.

“We want to en­sure that our cen­tres have an op­ti­mised ser­vice de­liv­ery team with the most rel­e­vant skills which re­flect the chang­ing needs of both our cus­tomers and re­tail­ers.

“We would like re­as­sure our shop­pers and col­leagues that the safety and se­cu­rity of the cen­tre is our num­ber one pri­or­ity and con­tin­ues to re­mains so.”

It is not clear ex­actly how many staff are set to be made re­dun­dant.

> Birm­ing­ham’s Bull­ring

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