Somerset Argos site confirmed its closure as union says ‘230 jobs are at risk’
A key Argos site in Somerset is set to close, it has been confirmed, with a union saying up to 230 jobs are threatened by the move.
The Argos distribution center in Bridgwater will be closed as part of plans to integrate the operations of Sainsbury’s and Argos, and a number of sites are closing across the country.
Supermarket giant Sainsbury’s, owner of Argos, issued a statement confirming the closure of the site next to the M5 motorway, confirming that the Bridgwater site will close and that the redeployment of affected staff is under consideration.
A Sainsbury spokesperson said: “Last year we shared plans to accelerate the integration of the Sainsbury and Argos logistics networks and confirmed that a number of our existing depots would close.
“Our Bridgwater depot is one of the affected sites and we are supporting the teams in any way we can. This includes exploring redeployment opportunities for our colleagues within Sainsbury’s. “
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Union Unite has claimed that up to 230 jobs could be at risk as a result of the move and confirmed it will meet with Sainsbury’s to discuss the decision and how jobs can be preserved.
Unite regional agent Tim Morris said: “Our members at the Argos Bridgwater distribution center have continued to work throughout the pandemic and their reward for this dedication is having to deal with the loss of their jobs.
“Unite will hold an urgent meeting with the company to better understand why this announcement was made.
“The union will fully engage in the consultation process and explore all options to preserve as many jobs as possible in Bridgwater or elsewhere.”
Unite’s national officer Matt Draper said the move was aimed at “increasing Sainsbury’s profits” and that the move was a “slap in the face” for staff.
He said: “This time last year, key workers like our members in Argos have been praised for helping keep the country running. A year later, they are thrown in the trash.
“As our members continue to work, putting their health and that of their families at risk, Sainsbury’s has benefited tremendously financially. To announce now that the same workers are at risk of losing their jobs is a slap in the face for a long-tenured workforce.
“This announcement appears to be aimed at increasing Sainsbury’s profits rather than treating its workers fairly and decently.”