The logistics firm, DHL Freight UK, has announced a period of consultation with a view to close its UK operations due to continued losses in profits. The proposed move could lead to the loss of 520 jobs, and the closure of its depots at Aberdeen, Bellshill, Newcastle, Warrington, Wakefield, Coalville, Norwich, Andover, Bristol, and Exeter sites.
Union GMB says the move is the ‘worst Christmas present imaginable’ and a ‘kick in the teeth’ for workers facing redundancy.
DHL say that stagnating volumes and poor quality revenue have led to increased losses during 2016, exacerbated by very low peak volume. DHL Freight UK has also said that a fixed cost base cannot adjust quickly enough to volume fluctuations and is adding to the losses. Cardiff and Hemel Hempstead sites have closed in the last few months, and Exeter partially closed during the recent period too. This has already resulted in a loss of nearly 100 jobs.
In the past couple of years, the company has attempted to restructure, with the aim of increasing business and volumes.
This approach was altered in early 2016, and a period of restructuring resulted in closing a couple of depots, and reducing employee numbers whilst outsourcing some of its business. The company has admitted to GMB that implementing restructuring has not delivered the expected results.
Mick Rix, GMB National Officer said, "this announcement is a kick in the teeth to the loyal, hard-working and highly trained workforce across the DHL Freight UK network. The constant false hopes, tinkering and change in direction of the business has contributed to the lack of customer confidence, which in turn has led to a loss of business.
“DHL Freight UK has made this announcement two weeks before Christmas and the festive period. I am sure most staff will not thank the company for the worst Christmas present ever. It appears that the UK management team has given up on this business and its employees. GMB Union will work hard, to ensure our members are treated with the respect they deserve, and if the business cannot be saved, jobs are found for the highly trained and skilled workforce."