City Link workers say they face bleak future after takeover bid fails

City Link in Fareham, and below, workers and contractors who were given the bad news on Monday. Picture: Paul Jacobs (143645-4)
City Link in Fareham, and below, workers and contractors who were given the bad news on Monday. Picture: Paul Jacobs (143645-4)
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STAFF from failed delivery company City Link face a bleak future as an 11th hour rescue bid failed.

The company, which has a depot in Standard Way, Fareham, officially made more than 2,300 workers redundant on New Year’s Eve – a move branded ‘disgraceful’ by trade unions.

jpns-03-01-15-012 City Link Fareham rep kb pic 1''City Link, Fareham 29 December 2014''City Link and subcontracted workers arrived for a briefing at the Fareham Depot early Monday morning. They were read a prepared statement by Administrators Ernst and Young and sent home. They will be paid to the end of December but will be out of work from January 1 unless a buyer for the firm is found.' 'One worker said,' ''The bosses of City Link are mercenary. Imagine those poor kids on Christmas Day finding out their mum or dad has lost their job. The company got us all to work those extra hours in the run up to Christmas knowing they wouldn't be able to pay us. It's a disgusting way to treat people. City Link won't be the last delivery firm to go out of business. They are all trying to undercut each other. There should be agreement on reasonable minimum payments for deliveries'.' 'Members of the RMT union, Portsmouth Trades Council and TUSC were at the depot to show their support for workers.' 'Jon Woods, Trade Unioni

jpns-03-01-15-012 City Link Fareham rep kb pic 1''City Link, Fareham 29 December 2014''City Link and subcontracted workers arrived for a briefing at the Fareham Depot early Monday morning. They were read a prepared statement by Administrators Ernst and Young and sent home. They will be paid to the end of December but will be out of work from January 1 unless a buyer for the firm is found.' 'One worker said,' ''The bosses of City Link are mercenary. Imagine those poor kids on Christmas Day finding out their mum or dad has lost their job. The company got us all to work those extra hours in the run up to Christmas knowing they wouldn't be able to pay us. It's a disgusting way to treat people. City Link won't be the last delivery firm to go out of business. They are all trying to undercut each other. There should be agreement on reasonable minimum payments for deliveries'.' 'Members of the RMT union, Portsmouth Trades Council and TUSC were at the depot to show their support for workers.' 'Jon Woods, Trade Unioni

A further 1,000 contractors, agency workers and self-employed van drivers are also thought to be affected, but will not receive redundancy packages.

News of the job losses broke on Christmas Day, when City Link called in administrators Ernst Young, plunging people into an uncertain festive period.

Jon Woods, Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition candidate for Portsmouth North, said: ‘City Link have behaved appallingly.

‘They have deliberately delayed telling the workforce their jobs are going until after the pre-Christmas rush to get the maximum work out of them.

‘This is vulture capitalism at its worse.’

Mr Woods said that it had been hoped that the company would be bought and rescued, however that bid never materialised.

‘It is disgraceful,’ he said.

‘The takeover never happened and they are keeping only a few people on to wind down the process.’

The company employed 80 workers at its Fareham depot, with a further 60 contractors.

Four staff remain at the Fareham depot to deal with customers who have been advised to collect their parcels by Tuesday.

One worker, who did not want to be named, said: ‘It’s a disgusting way to treat people. City Link won’t be the last delivery firm to go out of business. They are all trying to undercut each other. There should be agreement on reasonable minimum payments for deliveries.’

Another worker said the worst part was the way the news broke on social media on Christmas Day, leaving workers in a state of uncertainty.

Business secretary Vince Cable, who had been criticised by unions for not doing enough to prevent the company’s failure, said the government will be helping employees who have been made redundant.

He said: ‘We stand ready to help.’

He said people would be able to use the government’s rapid response service, which draws together organisations such as Jobcentre Plus and the skills bodies and that a Facebook page had been set up so that other companies could advertise vacancies to the affected workers.

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.’

The administrators said that staff will be offered support in their redundancy claims.

In total 2,356 people have been made redundant across the UK. There are an estimated 30,000 parcels still waiting to be collected from the 52 City Link depots.