The DHL supply chain has confirmed that it is to close a Sheffield depot with the loss of around 200 jobs.
The firm says it was a 'difficult but necessary' decision to make, blaming the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic and in order to protect its business for the long term.
Customers served from Sheffield include Carlsberg, Coors, Mitchells & Butlers, and Whitbread.
The decision to close the Tradeteam Ltd depot on the Tinsley Industrial Estate in July and to axe the jobs of the 200 workers, who are currently furloughed, has been branded as 'about as brutal as it gets' by the union Unite.
A spokeswoman for DHL said affected staff had been informed of the situation and would shortly enter into consultation with the company and nominated representatives to discuss their options.
These included transferring to Tradeteam's expanded operation in Wakefield or redeploying to other DHL sites in the Sheffield area.
In light of challenging trading conditions and the impact of the Coronavirus, which has shut down the UK hospitality industry for several months, we have reviewed our Tradeteam drinks logistics operation and concluded that we can support our north east customer base with two, rather than three, depots.
Unite now intends to seek a mandate to to proceed to an industrial action ballot at its UK sites, following the decision.
This is a disgrace and about as brutal a wielding of corporate power as you will see across the UK employment landscape. The workers are currently furloughed on 80 per cent of pay as DHL has refused to top up the final 20 per cent that employers are expected to do under the government’s job retention scheme (JRS). This is a loyal workforce with hundreds of years of service – they have been betrayed.