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World News

Bishop pleads with Amazon to not shut down local warehouse

by Tola Mbakwe

A Scottish bishop has appealed to Amazon to reconsider its plan to close down a local warehouse, which could result in job losses.

Last week, the online retail giant said it opened a consultation to close three older UK warehouses this year in Hemel Hampstead, Doncaster and Gourock, sites employing 1,200 people in one of Amazon's biggest markets outside the United


Reacting to the proposed closure of the Amazon warehouse in Gourock, Rt Rev John Keenan, Bishop of Paisley, whose diocese includes Inverclyde said:  “I was both disappointed and saddened to hear of the proposed closure of Amazon’s facility in Gourock and the high number of local job losses this will entail.

“Even at this late stage, I would encourage Amazon to reconsider the proposal which will have such an impact on so many local families in already challenging times. Inverclyde has suffered greatly in recent times and this is another severe blow to families and the local economy.”

The online company, which operates 30 large warehouses across the UK, said it planned to open two new warehouses in central and north east England over the next three years, a move it said will create 2,500 new jobs.

However, Bishop Keenan maintained that the closures would still have a negative impact on the community and hopes there will be support from the government.

“I hope that the Scottish Government will work to bring new jobs to the area and I am confident that Inverclyde Council will do what it can to help improve the work situation in Inverclyde, he said.

“My heart is with the people of Inverclyde and, as a Church, we offer the support of our prayers to anxious families as well as our practical help, if needed, through the various agencies in our local parishes.”

Earlier this month, Amazon said it wants to shed 18,000 roles globally, bracing for slower growth as consumers and businesses cut spending as a result of high inflation.

The planned closing of the UK warehouses are not part of the wider restructuring which mainly covers non-warehouse roles in e-commerce and human resources.

Separately, Amazon's UK business has also faced demands for better pay from its warehouse staff, about 300 of whom plan to go on strike on 25th January.




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