350 job at risk as Yodel depot closes

Reporter: Charlotte Hall, Local Democracy Reporter
Date published: 21 May 2024

Hundreds of Yodel staff members in Oldham are at risk of losing their jobs after the delivery service announced a ‘devastating’ closure.

Yodel’s distribution site in Shaw, which employs 350 people is due to be axed. 

The company’s CEO Mike Hancox said the  ‘difficult decision’ was a result of a ‘strategic review’.

It follows on from the sale of Yodel earlier this year because of the financial difficulties of its parent company Barclays. 

Hancox said: “Following a comprehensive strategic review of our operations we have taken the difficult decision to propose to close our national sortation and transport centre located in Shaw, Greater Manchester.

"We are hugely grateful for the support of our colleagues based at Shaw over the years and we are now working in close consultation with all relevant stakeholders to provide guidance and support to those affected.

“Yodel has experienced a significant transformation over recent years with the rapid growth of our customer-to-customer service, Yodel Direct, and expansion of our Out of Home network and international operations.

"To meet demand for growing capacity and evolving parcel types with different sortation needs, we continue to invest in infrastructure and technology across our network including our core Wednesbury and Hatfield sortation centres.”

Responding to the closure, coun Arooj Shah, leader of Oldham council, said: “This is devastating news for local people and their families and friends.

"These potentially large-scale job losses come at a time when people are already struggling because of the cost of living crisis in the UK.

“It’s a real blow for local people, but we are determined to do everything we can to help them and to continue growing various areas of our local economy and help create more jobs for the future.”

The firm has offered a small number of jobs at Yodel’s Middleton depot.

The council will be supporting the remaining staff in finding new employment. 

Get Oldham Working will open an on-site office at the Yodel site on Bear Lane to provide specialist training guidance, job advice and job postings. 

Coun Howard Sykes called the closure a ‘disappointment’ though ‘hardly a surprise’. 

Coun Sykes said: “My first thoughts are with the staff and their families who are personally affected by this decision by Yodel. … The loss of well-paid blue-collar jobs is hard to take for Shaw and Oldham.  

“We have done everything we can to urge Yodel to look after their local workforce, which they have assured me they are doing.

"But job losses are difficult and painful.” 

Yodel did not respond directly to a request for comment regarding the job losses and impact on the local community. 

Mark Todd - Usdaw national officer said: “Yodel’s proposal to close their Shaw site is a devastating blow for staff and the wider community.

“Usdaw will now enter into meaningful consultation talks with the company, where we will interrogate their business case for this closure and seek the best possible outcome for our members.

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

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