Telford pallet rack job losses blamed on Brexit, as Unite enters talks

Unite, the country’s largest union, is holding crunch talks with the management of Link 51 in Telford tomorrow (Thursday 3 November) to mitigate the 69 job losses announced in the pallet racking business.

Link 51, part of the multinational Whittan Storage Systems, oversees two operations from its Halesfield site in the Shropshire town – pallet racking and locker making. It is understood that the pallet racking will move to a bigger Whittan site in Milton Keynes.

Unite said the company blamed recent steel price increases, volatile market conditions and Brexit uncertainty for the job losses, which includes 20 agency workers on top of the 69 full-time workers.

Unite regional officer Matt Jones said: “This is a long-established business in Telford and the announcement of the redundancies is a tough blow for our members and their families, as well as the Shropshire economy, in the run-up to Christmas.

“, especially as the West Midlands is the UK’s manufacturing heartland.

“We are holding talks with the management tomorrow in Telford with the aim to mitigate the job losses, either by voluntary redundancy or redeployment.

“The company is also asking for voluntary redundancies from the locker making facility. We will be supporting our members’ very strongly during this difficult time for them and their families.”

Link 51 also has a site at Brierley Hill in the West Midlands which makes mobile and static shelving.

The Unite members working in pallet racking are made up mainly of manual workers, as well as clerical, managerial and technical employees.