Lincoln MP and union members react to Lincolnshire Co-op redundancy talks

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MP for Lincoln Karen Lee has said she will be meeting with the CEO of Lincolnshire Co-op Ursula Lidbetter to discuss plans to close two food distribution centres in the city.

Union members have also expressed ‘shock’ at the proposals announced this week, which have seen 111 members of staff facing redundancy.

As previously reported, Lincolnshire Co-op food distribution centres on Whisby Road and Pioneer Way are likely to be closed. A consultation has begun with affected staff.

The society says that the move will return savings of around £1 million a year, which would be invested in new facilities.

MP Karen Lee said: “News of any potential job losses in our city will always be of great concern to me.

“Following the announcement of the consultation I have arranged a meeting with Ursula Lidbetter, CEO of the Lincolnshire Co-op, to discuss this move.

“I have also spoken to USDAW representatives to ensure that proper consultation and processes are in place.

“Such news is always a cause of much stress for workers and their families.

“As yet I don’t have all the details so I will be seeking to establish the facts of the situation and I will also be seeking assurances that both the employer and staff representatives are taking every measure possible to try and find a solution.”

Members of the Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers have spoken out in shock of the news and have said that they will be looking at options to save jobs.

Ed Leach, Usdaw Area organiser, said: “Staff at the distribution centres are shocked by the company’s announcement and we are meeting with management to hear the rationale for their proposals and engage in meaningful consultation about the planned closures.

“Our priority is to get the best possible deal for our members. We will be looking at options to save jobs and keep staff in employment within the Co-op or with other employers.

“In the meantime, Usdaw reps are providing our members with the support, advice and representation they need at this very difficult time.”