The announcement of more than 100 job losses at the headquarters of shoemaker Clarks in Somerset is a ‘bitter blow’ for staff and the local economy, Unite, the UK and Ireland’s largest union, said today (21 May 2020). 

The job losses are part of a plan to cut around 700 Clarks jobs worldwide over the next 18 months, with 160 job losses announced today, including 108 at the firm’s warehouse and central offices in Street. 

Unite, which represents a significant number of Clarks staff in Street and across the UK, is ‘fighting to save as many jobs as possible’ and called on the company to ensure that any job losses are voluntary and to find alternative roles for those workers who wish to remain with the firm. 

Unite regional officer Gareth Lowe said: “This is a bitter blow for Clarks workers, particularly during such uncertain times. Clarks is Street's biggest employer and Somerset’s regional economy will also be dealt a heavy blow by these losses. 

“Unite is fighting to save as many jobs as possible and we call on Clarks to ensure that only voluntary job losses that include generous leaving packages are carried out. Clarks should also do its utmost to find alternative roles for those staff who wish to continue working with the firm.

“We are working with Clarks to protect against further losses, with the aim of maintaining the firm’s long-term place as a major local employer.”

ENDS

Notes to editors:

During the coronavirus crisis Unite is working to keep workers and the public safe, to defend jobs and to protect incomes.

For media enquires ONLY contact Unite communications officer Ryan Fletcher on 07849 090215.

Email: ryan.fletcher@unitetheunion.org

Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest union with members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.