Redundancy for Halford workers over site relocation

Image caption,
Mr Cowell and other former workers say they were a "loyal" workforce

More than 100 Halfords workers have been made redundant after deciding not to relocate to a new distribution centre in Coventry.

Five workers have accepted an offer to move from the current distribution centre in Redditch, Worcestershire, but 126 have lost their jobs.

About 300 jobs will be created at the new centre where terms and conditions were "more competitive", Halfords said.

The former workers said the company had lost a "loyal, hardworking workforce".

Terry Cowell said workers felt that the company was opting for cheaper, temporary staff as it was "not worth their while" travelling to Coventry.

"We believe the reason we moved is that they wanted to get rid of a workforce - a loyal, hardworking, long-serving workforce - who are being paid £9.50 an hour and wanted to replace it with a cheap, temporary workforce."

The car parts and bike retailer announced plans to relocate 18 months ago and confirmed in February that some workers who do move will be paid less.

The new site was set to open "this summer", officials said.

David Sawday, from Halfords, told BBC News that the site in Redditch was out-of-date and the move was needed to progress the business.

"We do accept terms and conditions in Coventry are lower, it is more competitive, it will be a pay cut and to acknowledge we did offer an incentive and we acknowledge it wouldn't suit everyone," he said.

"But, we feel for the good of the company we needed this new distribution centre at Coventry."

He added working conditions would be better at the new site.

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