Politicians demand action plan to support Hemel Wilko workers set to lose their jobs
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Wilko in Hemel Hempstead is closing for good on 29 September with all UK stores shutting down before October.
A group of councillors are putting pressure on Dacorum Council to do more to help staff find equivalent retail jobs across the borough.
They are urging the council to pull out all the stops to help those who have lost their jobs.
The group is calling on the council to put an action plan in place to find alternative retail employment for all 36 staff being laid off by identifying other similar retail opportunities in across Dacorum’s high streets in Hemel, Tring and Berkhamsted.
The politicians advise they have been working closely with the GMB Union and have taken steps to secure a specific case manager at the job centre, as well as a as well as a link for staff to register for retail employment opportunities.
Councillor Peter Hannell said: “Staff have been treated abysmally. They have been kept in the dark and were reduced to following the story on the internet after the company first disclosed it was facing financial difficulties. In fact it was only when they received "Store Closing Down" signs to stick up in the windows, that they knew the store was closing. It's a tragic state of affairs.
“The Labour group have been doing what we can to help but really the council should have stepped in earlier to help mitigate the job losses and try to help find alternative employment. The impact of the internet and online shopping means closures like this will happen more often. It’s vital that the council has some sort of plan in place to quickly find new job opportunities and also drive investment into alternatives to retail in places like the Marlowes and across our high streets and community shopping centres.”