Musgrave workers ‘disgusted’ as jobs go

Musgrave Cash and Carry. (DER1114PG150)
Musgrave Cash and Carry. (DER1114PG150)
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Staff at Derry’s Musgrave Cash and Carry who were put on 30 days notice on Friday say they’re “disgusted” at the company’s decision to make as many as 18 roles redundant at the Springtown based retail supplier.

One man who has worked with Musgrave locally for over ten years says the majority of staff affected are long term employees on permanent contracts. The worker - who did not wish to be named - said he and others believe the company want to save money by axing full time roles in favour of temporary and part time contracts.

In a statement, Musgrave Cash and Carry said roles are being put at risk in Derry because of the consolidation of its ‘MarketPlace’ brand, and that the company’s delivered operation would transfer from Derry to Duncrue, in Belfast.

However one of the workers involved said: “The delivered element is just one aspect of what those of us who have been laid off do. That’s only about 20 per cent of what I do. There’s no reason for so many people to have been put on notice. There are people here who’ve shown real loyalty to the company, and have no sick records and who’ve worked hard. Yet they’ve been put at risk ahead of people who are on temporary contracts. It just isn’t right.

“The company are saying that they are creating some temporary part time roles but those are no good for people who have young families and big mortgages. We were given this news on Friday with no warning at all. It’s not good enough. That’s around a third of the staff in Springtown gone.”

There’s just a real sense of shock among everyone over there.”

In a statement, a spokesperson for the Musgrave group said: Musgrave Wholesale Partners has announced further consolidation of its MarketPlace brand in Northern Ireland. This has included an investment in a warehouse management system with Voicepick technology in its MarketPlace Duncrue site in Belfast. The company will now transfer its delivered operation from its MarketPlace Derry Cash and Carry outlet to its site in MarketPlace Duncrue. Musgrave Wholesale Partners believes that consolidating its network will provide customers with a wider range of products and a much more effective and efficient delivery service, operated from its state-of-the-art Belfast Duncrue site which is a dedicated tri temp distribution centre. The MarketPlace Derry outlet will remain open as a Customer Collect service only which will regrettably result in approximately 12 roles being at risk of redundancy.

Musgrave Wholesale Partners is doing everything it can to minimise the impact of this transfer and is also putting in place an extensive outplacement support programme for all impacted employees, as they seek alternative employment.”

Reacting to news of the job losses, Sinn Féin representative Liam Frielsaid: “It has been a bad week on

the jobs front in Derry with this latest blow at Musgrave coming so soon after the Rigney Dolphin jobs losses.

“The rights and entitlements of workers must be protected at this time.Collectively, everyone in the city must redouble their efforts to maintain and attract employment to Derry. “