Staff from City Link’s Gateshead and Durham depots have been told to “go on Facebook” to find a new job.
More than 2,350 workers were made redundant. including many of the company’s 101 North East employees, after an 11th hour rescue bid failed.
And now Business Secretary Vince Cable – who unions had criticised for not doing more to stop the company’s collapse – has told warehouse staff and delivery drivers to search social media for work.
“The Government has put arrangements in place to help employees who are made redundant and we stand ready to help,” Mr Cable said.
“City Link employees and self-employed drivers who have their contracts terminated as a result of City Link’s administration will be able to access the Government’s rapid response service, which draws together local partners such as Jobcentre Plus and the skills bodies to deliver support for each person affected.
> Watch out for the sanctions, lads. Now you are unemployed you automatically become scum and will be treated accordingly.
“In addition, a Facebook page has been set-up to link-up companies holding suitable vacancies with those who have been made redundant, so if drivers can be redeployed into new jobs in this competitive buoyant market they will be.”
> So get ready to grab another self-employed or otherwise unstable job opportunity with another poorly-managed company.
Reacting to the redundancies, RMT general secretary Mick Cash said:
“The City Link Christmas destruction is an act of industrial vandalism that shames our nation while the Government looked on and offered nothing but hollow words.”
Mr Cash had earlier disclosed details of a possible rescue, saying they had been “made aware of what we believe to be a credible bid to take over some or all of the City Link trading operation”.
But the administrators said that the offer they had received “offered no money up front and significantly undervalued the assets to be acquired.”
In total 2,356 City Link redundancies were announced on New Year’s Eve – however there are still 30,000 parcels waiting to be collected from City Link depots, which stopped accepting new items on Christmas Eve, and 371 people have been kept on to deal with remaining parcels and to assist in winding down its operations. It is not yet clear how many of those jobs are in the North East.
Customers who have sent parcels and intended recipients have been advised to collect their items between 8am and 8pm, with depots expected to remain open until “approximately” January 6.
Joint administrator Hunter Kelly said:
“It is with regret that we have to announce substantial redundancies at City Link Limited, which ceased accepting new parcels on December 24 2014.
“The company endured substantial losses, which ultimately became too great for it to continue as a going concern, and City Link Limited entered administration following an unsuccessful sale process.
“At meetings across City Link Limited’s UK sites on Monday and Tuesday, employees were informed that there would be substantial redundancies as no new business was being taken on.”
The administrators said staff affected by redundancy will be offered advice and support in making claims for redundancy and notice pay.
Source – Newcastle Evening Chronicle, 01 Jan 2015
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
A Couple of stories from Kate Belgrave – http://www.katebelgrave.com/
“They threatened sanctions because they couldn’t read my handwriting”
For about a month now, I’ve been spending time outside London jobcentres with the Kilburn Unemployed Workers Group talking to people who are signing on about their experiences with JSA, sanctions and jobcentres. Last week, we went back to Kilburn. Recently at the jobcentre, we heard from one man who said he’d been sanctioned for several months. He was furious and screamed that he was “going to come back with a fucking hammer.”
I asked him if he wanted to talk about the sanction and he told me to fuck off. “Why the fuck would I want to talk about it?” he yelled as he disappeared towards the high street. Which was fair enough. I wouldn’t want to discuss a months-long sanction with some old blogger with a notebook. I’d want someone to fix the sanction. Who wouldn’t. I give you this as an example of the sort of fury and desperation that this vicious JSA sanctions regime generates and to put it to you that there’ll be more of it when conditions for JSA become even more demanding.
“I’m 62 and they threaten me with sanctions.”
A lot of people we talk to outside jobcentres seem completely stuck. They say their problems aren’t being resolved at all.
We’ve talked to plenty of people who are furious about that. At Lisson Grove, I talked to Penny*, aged 62. She was angry all right. She said that she’d worked in the voluntary sector until August last year, when she was made redundant, because of budget cuts. She was particularly angry about being told by the jobcentre that she wasn’t trying hard enough to find work.
“Some of us in our previous lives actually taught jobsearch. We actually took people through to the point of appointment, so [it’s very hard] to come here and be told “why are you late, you’re not doing proper jobsearch, that’s why you haven’t got a job,” when you’re 62 years of age. I’m being told this by people who are half my age. I’m being told that if ever I arrive late, they are going to cut the whole of my benefits.