Support is available to the dozens of Wilko workers in Bristol and Kingswood at risk of losing their jobs, the region’s directly elected Mayor Dan Norris has reiterated.
It comes after today’s news that all 400 of the much-loved home and hardware chain’s stores will be closing by early October, after a rescue deal collapsed.
GMB Union says this means redundancies are now “likely” for the entire 12,500 workforce.
The family-owned retailer has five stores in Bristol, and one in Kingswood, meaning dozens of workers in the West could find themselves without a job during a cost-of-living crisis.
Talks continue with Poundland, which is believed could take on around 100 stores under the Poundland brand, while last week, B&M agreed to buy up to 51 stores from administrators, although it is unclear in both cases which stores will be rescued, or if any jobs will be retained.
Responding to the news, Mayor Norris reiterated his Mayoral Combined Authority will support workers in his patch made redundant, pointing to packages available to help affected workers such as his ongoing hands-on training courses for high-demand sectors.
He said: “This is heartbreaking news, not least for the hundreds of workers and their families in the West of England, who were, like many of us, holding out hope for a rescue deal keeping all jobs and all stores safe. That clearly hasn’t happened.
“I continue to hope a solution or rather solutions can be found to keep as many jobs in the West, and across the country, as safe as possible. Because people will understandably be very worried about losing their jobs in the middle of a really frightening cost-of-living crisis.
“My Mayoral Combined Authority, however, stands ready to help locals made redundant by giving them access to the services and resources they need to find good-quality, unionised jobs as soon as possible, and as soon as that becomes necessary.”
To learn more about the support available from the Mayoral Combined Authority, email email@example.com.