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New Debenhams boss unveils plans to close distribution centres

Debenhams Credit: PA

The new boss of department store chain Debenhams has unveiled plans to close its Lodge Farm distribution centre near Northampton along with 10 smaller in-house warehouses and put up to 10 stores under review.

The warehouse, operated by DHL, employs 220 staff and will shut in two years' time.

Debenhams say they hope to be able to redeploy many staff affected by the smaller warehouse closures.

Sergio Bucher, who took over as chief executive last October, outlined the overhaul that will see the group shut one of its three distribution centres.

Details of his plans came as the group announced a 6.4% drop in pre-tax profits to £87.8 million for the six months to March 4.

Virgin Trains East Coast workers to strike in staffing dispute

Virgin Trains East Coast Credit: PA

Workers on Virgin Trains East Coast are to stage a 48-hour strike in a row over the role of guards and jobs.

Members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union will walk out on April 28 and 29, following strikes at three other train operators last Saturday in bitter rows over staffing.

The RMT said it has been seeking an "explicit clarification" from Virgin on the retention of the role of the guard.

It wants a specific assurance that a new position of train manager will retain the safety- critical roles and training currently held by train guards.

A statement said:

The only response the company has offered is to repeat the vague and non-committal mantra of 'within our discussions we have confirmed that the safety-critical duties of the guard will remain on the train'.

This mealy-mouthed form of words gives no reassurance to RMT members in the front line nor any protection from the possible introduction of driver-only operation.

– RMT Statement

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Fujitsu workers at Midland site to strike again in jobs and pensions dispute

Fujitsu Credit: ITV News

Workers at IT giant Fujitsu in Birmingham are to stage a fresh wave of strikes, along with other sites across the UK, in their long-running dispute over jobs and pension cuts.

Members of Unite will walk out for 24 hours on April 13 and 24 and for 48 hours in April 20.

The action will involve workers at:

  • Birmingham
  • Basingstoke
  • Belfast
  • Bracknell
  • Crewe
  • Edinburgh
  • London
  • Manchester
  • Stevenage
  • Wakefield
  • Warrington

Unite national officer Ian Tonks said:

The previous four days of strike action generated strong support from workers determined to stand up for their jobs and livelihoods.

The way Fujitsu is treating its workforce and keeping them in the dark over its plans for the future is beyond contempt.

– Unite, Ian Tonks
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