British general trade union GMB has issued a warning to Sportswear retailer Sports Direct International owner Mike Ashley over the loss of 627 jobs involved in the acquisition of House of Fraser.
Earlier this month, Sports Direct acquired the business and assets of the department store chain and its main operating company James Beattie for a cash consideration of £90m ($115m).
On 17 August, Ashley slashed 627 jobs at XPO logistics, a supply chain partner of House of Fraser, and announced that all staff had been put on a 45-day consultation period.
He made this decision, as the House of Fraser holds a £30m debt with XPO logistics, which operates warehouses in Milton Keynes and Wellingborough.
GMB organiser Alan Costello said: “This is a massive blow to our members based at depots in Wellingbrough and Milton Keynes who have been left in limbo.
“When companies like House of Fraser crash, history shows that asset stripping is often the consequence. You’ve got to question the motives for this buyout and ask whether Mr Ashley has got the interests of the company and its workers at heart.
“There are more than 600 people desperately worrying about their futures and how they’re going to be able to put food on the table for their families.
“It’s time for Mike Ashley to show that his rescue plan for House of Fraser is not simply a plan to boost his bank balance at the expense of House of Fraser workers and our members.
“GMB will be fighting hard to ensure members are treated fairly and to save as many jobs as possible.”
Sports Direct was not obliged to pay around £1bn owed to House of Fraser creditors when it went bankrupt and filed the CVA.