More than 25,000 retail jobs lost in region
By Sarah Wood | 10th October 2023
As the last Wilko stores closed their doors on Sunday (October 8), a union has revealed the scale of retail job losses.
More than 25,000 traditional retail jobs in the South West have been lost since 2010, according to the GMB.
Analysis shows that 25,496 bricks and mortar retail jobs have gone - a decline of 22.4% - since the Conservatives took power.
The collapse of Wilko cost 12,500 workers nationally their jobs, at a cost of £25 million to the taxpayer.
GMB told the Labour Party Conference in Liverpool that more retail jobs will be lost unless economic reforms are made.
The union is calling for the UK's system of business rates to be replaced, alongside better protections for workers who are made redundant.
It also wants tougher sentences when retail workers experience violence and other abuse.
Andy Prendergast, GMB national secretary, said: "High street retail is at the heart of our communities, but customers and workers are denied a fair deal.
"Wilko was not the first, and it will not be the last. Better support for communities and workers who face redundancy is urgently needed."
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