E2 Collapse of Wilko – save the high street

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carried motion
Carried motion

Received from:

Congress notes that Wilko’s administrators told GMB on 11 September 2023 that all Wilko stores are set to close by early October.

Wilko’s distribution centres will close next Friday. Redundancy is now likely for all 12,500 Wilko workers, most of whom are low-paid women.

Congress recognises that:

1. GMB reps and officers have worked exhaustively to try to secure a future for Wilko and its workers.

2. Wilko’s shareholders extracted dividends worth £77 million over the last decade while the business struggled.

3. Wilko senior management failed to act on warnings that a serious turnaround plan was needed.

4. That UK company administration law maximises value for preferred creditors at the expense of jobs and terms and conditions.

High street retail is an essential part of our communities. But across the UK, brick and mortar retail jobs are under threat from predatory ownership models and an antiquated Business Rates regime.

Congress calls on the General Council to:

a. Express its solidarity and support for all Wilko workers.

b. Support GMB in its efforts to secure alternative employment for Wilko workers who face redundancy.

c. Campaign for reform of company administration law and a viable future for the high street.

Moved:  GMB

Seconded:  USDAW