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Wednesday, 30 July 2014

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Axed staff told this week

REPAIR and maintenance staff in Copeland will find out this week if they are to lose their jobs.

Willmott Dixon aims to make redundant 62 of the 260 Cumbrian workers it inherited when it acquired the repair and maintenance contract from social landlord Home Group.

A consultation process with the at-risk staff began on April 1 – the day Willmott Dixon took over the contract – and it comes to an end this week.

Those at risk include about 70 staff at the firm’s depot at Whitehaven Commercial Park at Moresby, and around the same number its depot at Ennerdale Road, Maryport. The remainder are from a number of local contracting firms, including Thomas Armstrong, Margrange and Mason Brothers, whose contracts were also transferred to Willmott Dixon.

Kevin Young is the regional organiser for GMB, the union that represents the at-risk staff. He said: “We have worked with members throughout the consultation period and have met with the company and voiced our concerns in a number of honest and frank discussions.

“Some have selected voluntary redundancy and that will have a bearing on the situation, but the numbers the company is looking to lose will not be made up of just voluntaries.

“Everyone has been put in a pool and, by the end of this week, we will know the numbers they are looking to lose, and also, sadly, the names of people affected.”

As part of the contract, Willmott Dixon will receive £14 million a year for its seven-year contract to deliver a range of maintenance services to 9,700 homes primarily across Cumbria and the Lake District.

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