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Help for axed store staff

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By Bryan Armstrong
Annan and Eskdale

CONCERNS for more than 40 staff who have lost their jobs at an Annan supermarket have prompted action.

With the redundancies being described as ‘devastating’ for the town, The Co-operative Food have confirmed they may look to return with a smaller convenience store.

Councillor Sean Marshall says 11 fulltime jobs and 31 part-time jobs are affected by the sale of the Butts Street site to Aldi, and having contacted Partnership Action for Continuing Employment said: “PACE went in on Monday and delivered packs to all the staff in Annan.

“They’ve arranged a presentation that’s been offered to all the staff, and they’re going to work with the storemanager and HR department tomake sure they have the full created support.”

And he added: “I’ve also asked Dumfries and GallowayCouncil if they can actually approach Aldi, and just ask them if, with a trained workforce there, whether they’d continue taking on existing Co-op staff who wish to be employed by Aldi.”

Aldi last week confirmed the purchase of the site, indicating a store is ‘set to open in 2015’, but not stating whether they would occupy the existing building or new premises.

The Co-op meanwhile confirmed the sale of the store, affecting what they put at 41 jobs.

Councillor Marshall had expressed dismay last week at the loss of jobs, and said: “Forty-two jobs in a town the size of Annan will have a devastating impact on the town; it goes without saying.

“The Co-op are still very successful across Scotland and have values that are admired in terms of fair trade, etc.

“And the Co-op is more than just a store in Annan — it’s an institution, and for close to 100 years there’s always been a Co-op in Annan, and I can remember when I was younger theremust have been three different Co-shops, so it’s the end of an era.”

However, The Co-operative Food have now indicated they would consider a return to the town.

A spokesman said: “We would be interested in having a convenience store sized outlet in Annan subject to getting the right location.

“There is nothing suitable being progressed at the moment although we are still on the lookout for opportunities.”


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