Hemel Hempstead politician urges Wilko administrator to protect jobs amidst closure fears
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A Hemel Hempstead-based politician has urged the administrator in charge of Wilko to protect the jobs of staff currently at the store.
Wilkos has an outlet in the Marlowes Shopping Centre in Hemel Hempstead and other stores in the county of Hertfordshire.
PwC which is overseeing the administration process of the retail business has confirmed jobs will be lost.
In a statement the audit company said: "While discussions continue with those interested in buying parts of the business, it's clear that the nature of this interest is not focused on the whole group.
"Sadly, it is therefore likely that there will be redundancies and store closures in the future and it has today been necessary to update employee representatives."
Prior to the latest blow for Wilko staff, David Taylor, the Labour Parliamentary candidate for Hemel Hempstead pleaded with the company to keep staff on.
He said in an open letter sent to PWC: “As my union GMB have stated. Wilko’s staff deserve reassurance that their jobs are safe. As someone who has recently gone through a redundancy process myself. I know the gut-wrenching feeling many Wilko staff will now be experiencing.
"Wilko staff have many years of retail expertise, skills and experience between them. Keeping their jobs safe must therefore be the number one priority going forward.
"The news is another blow to the Marlowes, that could be added to the list of shops like Debenhams and WHSmith that have already closed down.
"We’ve had a decade of decay in the town centre under the Tories from the demise of the market which has existed since 1539, to the closure of the pavilion, police station and bus station.”
The GMB union which is representing affiliated workers at Wilko, has said it expects a majority of stores to close in the coming weeks. PWC has said no stores are set to close next week, but has made no guarantees beyond that.
Wilko has 408 stores currently operating in the UK, recent estimates suggest that 12,500 people work for the company.