Fears grow for 150 jobs at Staffordshire Gist site
Fears are growing for around 150 jobs at a transport company depot near Eccleshall.
Gist, a supply chain and logistics group that works with companies including Starbucks and Marks & Spencer, has confirmed it is conducting a consultation over the future of its Stone site on the Raleigh Hall Industrial Estate.
Although numbers fluctuate, the depot is thought to employ around 150 full-time staff and 60 part-time and agency workers, most of whom live locally.
Gist communications manager Helen Barthorpe said no final decision had been taken over the site yet, although the deadline for such a decision under the consultation process is Friday, April 6.
She said Gist had been reviewing its network as "volume has reduced".
Gist manages warehouses, transport networks and deliveries for its clients including EAT, Tesco and Morrisons.
Stafford and Staffordshire councillor for the area Jeremy Pert said: "As soon as we were aware of the potential closure of one of the largest employers in the area a rapid reaction task force was established between the borough and county councils and the Department for Work and Pensions."
After talks with other local employers and recruitment fairs held at the Raleigh site, Mr Pert said he was hopeful that if jobs were lost most of those who would be seeking work would find it.
Unite national officer for road transport Matt Draper said: “We have a national agreement with Gist, but it does not cover the site at Stone.
“However, we do have a number of warehouse members and drivers at Stone. We are negotiating strongly and working with the management on their behalf to maximise redeployment opportunities and minimise compulsory job losses.”
Based in Basingstoke, Gist is part of Linde, a German-based gas and engineering group which is in talks to sell the business. Gist, which has been up for sale for several years, currently has 17 sites across the UK, including depots at Coventry and Crewe.
In total it employs about 5,000 people at 40 sites across Europe, America and Asia/Pacific, with customers including British Airways, Carlsberg, Bakkavör, Uniq and Dairy Crest.