Iconic British firms like Mulberry in danger and livelihoods in the balance following buyout, says GMB Union


GMB, the union for logistics workers, has slammed Mike Ashley after 627 jobs were slashed at XPO logistics, a supply chain partner of House of Fraser.

Members of staff were put on a 45 day consultation period from Friday, 17 August 2018.

Ashley’s company Sports Direct bought House of Fraser out of administration following the company’s collapse earlier this month.

However a stand-off between Sports Direct and XPO – who run House of Fraser warehouses in Milton Keynes and Wellingborough – over a £30 million House of Fraser debt has left more than 600 people facing redundancy.

Sports Direct is not obliged to pay the near £1bn owed to House of Fraser creditors at the time of its collapse.

Meanwhile luxury handbag maker Mulberry has warned that it faces a slump in profits after suffering a £3m hit as shares slumped 30 per cent to 400p in early trading.

Alan Costello, GMB organiser, said: “This is a massive blow to our members based at depots in Wellingbrough and Milton Keynes who have been left in limbo.

“When companies like House of Fraser crash, history shows that asset stripping is often the consequence.

“You’ve got to question the motives for this buyout and ask whether Mr Ashley has got the interests of the company and its workers at heart.

“There are more than 600 people desperately worrying about their futures and how they’re going to be able to put food on the table for their families.

“It’s time for Mike Ashley to show that his rescue plan for House of Fraser is not simply a plan to boost his bank balance at the expense of House of Fraser workers and our members.

“GMB will be fighting hard to ensure members are treated fairly and to save as many jobs as possible.”