Union calls for urgent talks with Government about City Link jobs

Nearly 3,000 workers facing redundancy

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The Independent Online

The transport union representing 2,727 workers facing redundancy at the parcel delivery group City Link, will meet the Business Secretary, Vince Cable, in the new year in talks they hope will help save jobs.

Mr Cable agreed to the emergency talks last night, saying news of the redundancies had come as  a “bitter blow to the workforce [of City Link]” who he said had served the parcel delivery company “loyally”  and now faced “uncertainty over Christmas”. Officials at BIS have been ordered by Mr Cable to keep him informed of developments at the Coventry-based firm where administrators have already told the  threatened workers that they should expect “substantial redundancies”.

After almost a year of industrial strife at the company, where the RMT union held a series of protests complaining against “bulldozed” changes to working conditions, contracts and overtime, along with closed depots, it was announced on Christmas Day that the investment firm, which owns City Link, had called in administrators. A statement by accountants Ernst & Young (EY) said the company had taken the decision after “years of substantial losses”.

Mick Cash, general secretary of the RMT, called the announcement of redundancies “absolutely shocking”.

The union said the timing of redundancies, coming after the workforce had almost finished Christmas deliveries, was “brutal and callous”, and said it wanted the Government to investigate if there was another, as yet undisclosed, agenda behind the decision. EY said no buyer for the company had been found despite recent extensive marketing which had put the company up for sale.

City Link’s administrators have suspended business at all its depots until Monday, when customers and those expecting deliveries can collect parcels. Some staff will be retained to help return parcels and assist with winding down the company.

Customers who contacted the company – and those expecting deliveries who have been notified this may not happen – can retrieve parcels on or after 29 December.