Eastbourne Debenhams closure: Staff union calls for urgent talks

Shopworkers’ trade union Usdaw has called for urgent talks following confirmation that Debenhams intends to close 22 stores – including one in Eastbourne.

Friday, 26th April 2019, 1:29 pm
Updated Friday, 26th April 2019, 1:48 pm

The closures announced today under a CVA put 1,200 jobs at risk, the union has said.

It’s calling for staff to be ‘treated with dignity’ and given a voice in the future of the company, which has previously said it will close a total of 50 stores.

Debenhams has been placed into administration. Picture: Nick Ansell/PA Wire
Debenhams has been placed into administration. Picture: Nick Ansell/PA Wire

Usdaw’s national officer Dave Gill said: “This is more devastating news for staff who have been working under the threat of store closures for some time.

“They have been left on the side-lines as a game of corporate monopoly has been played out in the media.

“It is devastating news for staff in the store closures announced to today and the threat continues in every other Debenhams store.

“We again urge the company to engage with Usdaw the trade union for Debenhams staff. It’s crucial that the staff and their voice should be heard and they are treated with the dignity and respect they deserve. We will continue to provide our members with the support and advice they need at this very difficult time.”

“Usdaw’s Save Our Shops campaign urges the Government to take urgent action to address the challenges facing retail.

“Three million people are employed directly in the retail sector and another 1.5 million jobs rely on the success of shops.

“In recent years, hundreds and thousands of jobs have been lost in retail, with large and small retailers alike closing their doors.

“The time for action is long overdue and we need an industrial strategy for retail.”

Debenhams’ bosses have said their priority is to ‘save as many stores as possible’.