Stunned cafe staff at Dundee’s Debenhams have been made redundant, despite thinking their jobs were safe after lockdown.
Debenhams dropped the bombshell yesterday morning, via a video call, that restaurant workers had lost their jobs.
Management informed staff that the restaurant will not open when the store is expected to trade again after lockdown eases.
A source told the Tele the company offered no consultation process, or moves to redeploy staff to sales positions.
Staff were simply told they would be paid all wages due, including money in lieu of holidays.
The source said: “This has infuriated the workers, as the restaurant was meeting all its targets and this is the main place that brings the money in for the whole shop floor.
“They are fuming that this has happened. After waiting all this time, being told their jobs were secure, after all the closures, now this.”
The Tele understands the move could affect nearly 20 members of staff at the Dundee store, with 20 or more being the threshold for a 30-day statutory consultation period.
Last month Debenhams struck a deal with the Overgate Shopping Centre to remain in Dundee until at least January 2022.
The troubled retail chain fell into administration earlier in April – the second time within a year – in a bid to protect the business from creditors.
While Debenhams continued to fulfil online orders during lockdown, the vast majority of its staff were furloughed.
According to a report out yesterday, 160 head office jobs have been axed at the firm.
While Debenhams acknowledged redundancies were taking place across the company, it refused to confirm how many people at the Dundee store had been impacted.
A spokeswoman from Debenhams told the Tele: “Preparations to reopen the vast majority of its stores from June 15 were well under way following the successful conclusion of lease negotiations on 120 stores”.
However, she added: “In the context of a retail industry undergoing profound change, the management team is working on the future shape of the group, with a view to seeking an exit from administration as a going concern.
“With a leaner and more flexible operating model, Debenhams will have the ability to adapt to what are likely to be fundamental shifts in the future trading environment.”
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