Union urges talks as 350 jobs put at risk at Lutterworth Lidl warehouse

The Lidl warehouse in Lutterworth
The Lidl warehouse in Lutterworth

A union has urged the discount supermarket firm to talk to them after 350 jobs were put at risk at a warehouse

Usdaw has called on Lidl to enter into talks after they announced plans to close its Lutterworth distribution centre and relocate to Peterborough.

The regional distribution centre, on Magna Park, is due to close on July 31, 2020, putting the jobs of 350 staff at risk.

Lidl said the Lutterworth warehouse could not support its future UK growth and said employees will have the chance to transfer its new regional distribution centre due to open in Peterborough on August 1, 2020. The company will also offer alternative employment opportunities in Lidl stores or a redundancy package.

Mark Todd, Usdaw National Officer, said: “The staff are devastated by Lidl’s plans to move their jobs 50 miles down the road. To ensure they are treated with dignity and respect the company must engage with Usdaw, the trade union for Lidl staff.

“It is deeply regrettable that the company continues to refuse to speak to Usdaw. Lidl has so far responded to our reasonable requests for initial talks with a firm ‘thanks, but no thanks’; saying they have chosen ‘not to formally recognise trade unions’. That position unfairly denies the choice of staff to be represented by a trade union, so we are calling on the company to reconsider.

“We urge Lidl to end their continued opposition to trade unions and meet with Usdaw. In the meantime we are providing our members with the advice and support they need at this difficult time.”

Stephen Hutchinson, Lidl's regional director for Lutterworth, said: "We have not taken this decision lightly and have explored all other possible options, coming to the conclusion that the current building cannot support our future growth in the region.

"Our focus is now on consulting with, and supporting, all affected colleagues."