Tradeteam drivers facing job losses
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by David Harris • Drivers working for Tradeteam, the Exel Logistics-Bass joint venture, are preparing for job cuts the company says are inevitable due to reorganisation. The news comes four months after Exel began operations with Bass, when it said there would be no redundancies as a result of the changes.
Secondary distribution from Midlands depots in Stone, Burton, Cape Hill and Springfield will cease and a regional distribution centre will open at Coleshill.
Some Tradeteam staff are angry. One based at Burton says: "We were told there wouldn't be job losses—which was rubbish—so people here feel betrayed. While some older ones will enjoy the redundancy money, younger ones will be in trouble." Trade union officials were meeting this week to discuss the news and who is affected.
Staff believe sub-contractors will be hit hard, but a Tradeteam spokeswoman says: "The changes will only affect our secondary distribution operations in the Midlands. No sub-contractors are involved. And we will do our best to redeploy staff or offer generous redundancy."
Brian Revell, the Transport and General Workers Union drinks industry national secretary, says: "We are particularly worried about Tradeteam's suggestion that wages and conditions at the new depot are to be renegotiated to be 'market competitive`—that usually means wage cuts."
Tradeteam previously gave assurances that terms and conditions would remain intact but its spokeswoman won't say whether workers will now be asked to take paycuts. She defends previous statements. "What we said last year was that there would be no immediate job losses. Things can change and we have to make ourselves competitive in the long term."