A delivery driver who discovered he had lost his job watching the news on Christmas Day says his employers have left him “high and dry”.
News of the collapse of parcel delivery firm City Link was announced on Christmas Eve and will see 2,000 staff made redundant nationally.
Thornaby driver Chris Trattles, who worked at the firm’s Leeming Bar depot, only heard of the closure when a friend told him to switch on the television news on Christmas Day.
He was told not to go into work on Saturday – before a meeting at 7.30am this morning officially announced that he and his colleagues had been made redundant.
The 37-year-old, who worked for the company in two spells, said:
“They have left me and everyone else high and dry.
“We knew what was coming by the time we got to the meeting, but to lose your job this way – and especially finding out on Christmas Day.
“It has spoiled the entire festive period for me.”
Chris said that he will have to apply to the government for statutory redundancy pay, and chase for payment of overtime and unpaid holidays.
“I will have to go and sign on now,” he continued.
“Before Christmas is a busy time, but now that is out of the way January is always a quiet time in the industry so I can’t see where my next job is coming from.
“I have a seven-year-old daughter so there are bills from Christmas, I still have my lodge to pay and I run a car, but there is no more money coming in.
“I don’t know how long a claim for statutory redundancy will take – and I don’t know how I’m going to get my overtime or holiday pay.”
A statement from the company which owned City Link, Better Capital, read:
“Unfortunately the appointment of an administrator was leaked to the media ahead of the intended announcement.
“The directors very much regret the impact on the employees of City Link receiving such bad news on Christmas Day.”
Speaking on BBC Radio 4, Better Capital boss John Moulton said the firm’s administration could not have been handled any better and said: “We chased every possible way to save this company.”
But Chris said staff should have been told earlier:
“I cannot fault the manager at my depot, who has been brilliant, but the top brass knew things were going wrong and should have communicated with staff.”
Chris worked at City Link’s old Thornaby branch for around four years before accepting administration when the depot was closed and operations moved to Durham.
He rejoined the company working from Leeming Bar around four years ago, delivering parcels across Yorkshire.
Source – Middlesbrough Evening Gazette, 29 Dec 2014
Crunch talks are taking place today in a bid to save hundreds of North jobs following the collapse of parcel delivery firm City Link.
Union officials from the RMT are meeting the company’s administrators Ernst and Young (EY) in the hope they can hammer out a deal to prevent nearly 3,000 job losses, including those at its branches at Belmont in County Durham, Wardley in Gateshead and Carlisle in Cumbria.
The move comes after City Link announced – on Christmas Day – that it is going into administration after years of “substantial losses.”
The union claims the company employes hundreds of people in the North East, although exactly how many is not yet known.
It has branded the move “truly devastating” for the region’s economy.
Officials are to meet in Leeds this afternoon to discuss the fate of the firm’s 2,727 staff, and union bosses have vowed to stay in talks for as long as it takes to salvage jobs.
RMT general secretary Mick Cash said:
“RMT’s objective now is to do everything we can to rescue jobs in the wake of the shock collapse into administration of City Link on Christmas Day.
“Despite the festive season there can be no delays in getting on with the rescue programme and we expect the government through Vince Cable to take an active role right now.
“The thousands of workers caught in the middle of this crisis deserve full support from every quarter.”
The union has demanded “urgent talks” with business secretary Mr Cable and said it is disappointed the minister has only pledged to meet them in the new year.
Coventry-based City Link, which is understood to have counted John Lewis among its largest clients, expects numerous redundancies after no buyer could be found to bail it out.
The RMT said it believed there may have been “more cynical motives” behind the decision to “delay” the announcement until Christmas Day and demanded an investigation.
A spokesman for the union in the North said:
“Hundreds of jobs will be placed at risk in the North East and this will be truly devastating for the economy.”
City Link operations have been suspended at all its depots until Monday, when customers and those expecting deliveries will be able to collect their parcels.
Investment firm Better Capital, led by veteran venture capitalist Jon Moulton, bought the courier group for just £1 in April last year from the previous owner, pest control firm Rentokil.
A number of staff will be retained to help return parcels to customers and help with winding down the company, EY said.
Source – Newcastle Evening Chronicle, 27 Dec 2014