LOGISTICS firm DHL has "badly let down" workers in Blaenau Gwent by cutting 50 jobs at an Ebbw Vale distribution depot, the area's Senedd member has said.

DHL's Supply Chain subdivision will retain 13 jobs at the Tradeteam site, in Festival Drive, but transfer other work to Swansea, according to the Unite trade union.

The logistics company said the "difficult decision" would protect the wider Tradeteam operation, which provides storage and distribution services to the drinks industry.

But Blaenau Gwent MS Alun Davies said he is "appalled" by the decision to cut the majority of jobs at the depot.


“I have worked with Unite the union and have spoken to the Welsh Govt to seek a way forward which would have secured both the jobs and the base in Ebbw Vale," Mr Davies said.

"I’m bitterly disappointed that the company has not listened or sought to seriously consider alternatives.”

Blaenau Gwent MP Nick Smith, who had also been working with Unite to resist DHL's plans, said: “I am very disappointed at this decision. The workforce at Ebbw Vale have been a loyal, high performing team and deserved better."

A spokeswoman for DHL Supply Chain said: "Coronavirus has had an unprecedented impact on the UK hospitality industry which has required us to take a number of difficult decisions to protect our drinks logistics business for the long term.

"Without taking these measures, there was a very real risk to the wider operation which could have jeopardised even more roles in the future."

The logistics firm had accepted Unite's proposal to save 13 jobs at Ebbw Vale, she added. In May, DHL originally announced its intention to close down the Festival Drive depot.

"We fully appreciate that these are stressful times for all concerned, but we have acted legally and ethically throughout the consultation process to protect as many jobs as possible for the future," the firm's spokeswoman said.

But Mr Smith argued more jobs should have been saved.

“While I am glad that management listened to our efforts a little, it’s devastating for local families that more jobs have not been retained," he said.

Mr Davies said DHL the Ebbw Vale depot had "significant advantages" over other locations, adding that he "will be writing to the management again... to get further information about what they’ve proposed and to ask about what practical support they will be giving to [the] members of staff they’ve let down so badly".