Staff angry as almost 200 jobs at risk in Rugby as part of plans to close depot

Whistl's Brownsover Road site.
Whistl's Brownsover Road site.

Around 198 jobs are at risk as part of plans to close Whistl's Rugby warehouse, and a source told the Advertiser they believe that management knew about the plans for months but had denied all knowledge when asked.

Anonymous sources reached out to the Advertiser earlier this week after, on January 15, postal delivery company Whistl told staff its Brownsover Road warehouse would be closing in early May as part of a plan to move its operations in Rugby and Iver to a new warehouse in Bedford.

A spokesperson for Whistl confirmed the plans and said the company would try to accommodate all those wishing to work at the new site - but staff told the Advertiser it was impractical to have to drive to and from Bedford every day.

The spokesperson for Whistl said: "We have taken the decision to consolidate our existing Iver and Rugby operations on a new site near Bedford as it provides the best working environment for colleagues and enables us to deliver the best service for current and any new services.

"The company is hoping that it will be able to accommodate all of those who wish to work at the new site, mitigating any need for redundancies.

"However, with a proposed move on this scale, the company is required under employment law to announce a collective consultation process and as a formality have to inform employees at this site that their positions are ‘at risk’ of redundancy."

Workers are angry

A source said workers are angry, and some feel management has hidden the truth from them.

One said: "The thing that people are most angry about is it was always understood that the company would look to stay in or near Rugby.

"We were always told by management that if we did move they would find somewhere near Rugby - I think we have been lied to about that.

"Staff spoke to management last year and they said they had no plans to move."

The source added that they believe Whistl had planned to move since July last year.

"In business terms I don't think they've done anything wrong. But morally? I'm not sure," the source said.