UP TO 80 workers in Ebbw Vale are fearing for their jobs after a national distribution company announced plans to close a depot in the town.

DHL Supply Chain has announced it will close its Tradeteam depot in Festival Drive, with a 45-day consultation period with employees to begin on Thursday, May 28.

The company has said that staff at the site, which distributes drinks to pubs and breweries, will be offered the opportunity to be redeployed “locally” to sites in Swansea or Gloucester.


The news is another significant blow to the economy in Gwent, with British Airways revealing they have started a 45-day consultation period with workers in Blackwood, and airline seat manufacturer Safran Seats proposing 187 redundancies in Cwmbran.

A DHL Supply Chain spokeswoman said: “In light of challenging trading conditions and the impact of the coronavirus, which has shut down the UK hospitality industry for several months, we have reviewed our Tradeteam drinks distribution operation and propose changes which will protect the wider business for the future.

“Under the plan, we propose to close our Ebbw Vale distribution depot and reallocate the work to our Swansea and Gloucester depots. The building will remain in use as an office for Tradeteam employees who are not involved in the Ebbw Vale operation (around 10 employees).

“We recognise that this is a difficult decision and will work hard with staff and their representatives in the coming weeks to achieve the best possible outcome for all parties."

Ninety people work at the site, the vast majority of which have been on furlough since early April, with 80 of them involved in distribution – such as warehouse staff and drivers. They will all have to leave the site and either be redeployed or find new work.

An employee at the Ebbw Vale site, who wishes to remain anonymous, said he is “very disappointed” and has “already begun searching for jobs”.

“It’s simply not manageable for most people,” he said. “Swansea and Gloucester are not local. There are so many people who will not be able to travel, perhaps because they can’t drive or they can’t afford to do that commute every day.”

DHL Supply Chain has also announced it will be closing its distribution site in Sheffield, where 200 workers are affected.

Unite national officer for road transport and logistics Matt Draper said: “Since the Sheffield closure was announced last week, Tradeteam has said that its depot at Ebbw Vale depot is also set to close – we are seeking similar job assurances for our members in South Wales.

“Our meeting with the Tradeteam management is due on Thursday, when we hope that the management will be rowing back on its flawed decisions, otherwise a national ballot, including the option for strike action, is very much on the cards – the ball is very much in the company’s court.”