HOPES THAT the recently announced sale and privatisation of Trust Media Distribution would secure the future and bring stability to the organisation have been crushed as yet another round of redundancies has been announced. Writing in the Carlisle News & Star on Saturday, Matthew Legg, the paper’s Business Editor, describes staff as shocked by the news:
JOBS UNDER THREAT AT CARLISLE BOOK FIRM AFTER TAKEOVER
Exclusive by Matthew Legg Business editor
Last updated at 10:21, Saturday, 21 January 2012
Seventy workers at a Carlisle bookseller have been told their jobs are under threat after the firm was taken over.
The new owners of Christian book distributor Trust Media – formerly Send the Light (STL) – have begun redundancy consultations with staff as they look to streamline the business.
The firm has not revealed how many jobs will eventually go, but the figure will not exceed 20 because the company has not entered the formal 90-day consultation period required to lay off more than 20 workers at once.
Bosses say the cuts are essential to secure the future of the Kingstown business and that they hope the bulk of the job losses will come through voluntary redundancies and retirements.
Staff are said to be shocked at the news. They are expected to discover their fates next week.
The report goes on to cite Paul Davies, a member of TMD’s senior management team, who describes the situation as “an unfortunate necessity” to ensure that the company continues trading in Carlisle “securing a substantial number of jobs in the process.”
Since January there has been a big injection of capital so for the business this has been a really positive move. But it has also brought with it a review of the whole business which includes consultations with staff. There will be a degree of staff reduction but we don’t know how many yet. It will be fewer then 20 positions.
Both reports refer to the company’s change of focus as it seeks to work with a wider customer base beyond its traditional role as primarily a supplier to the Christian retail trade, mentioning WH Smith and Amazon in particular. Inevitably, however, the current situation begs the question of whether or not a “streamlined” company with fewer staff will, in fact, be capable of serving that wider — and more demanding — marketplace as well as continue to efficiently serve its existing customers?