The ebook revolution in reading habits has put 255 jobs at risk at the Penguin Random House (PRH) UK distribution centre at Rugby in Warwickshire.
PRH has announced it wants to close the Central Park site in 2019 with redundancies starting from May 2017, following the decline in physical book volumes – about 25 per cent of book sales are now ebooks – which, in turn, has led to overcapacity in the company’s distribution network.
Unite regional officer Peter Coulson said: “The revolution in reading habits, with ebooks becoming more popular, has put these 255 jobs at risk. It is a worrying time for the employees and their families, especially in the run-up to Christmas, and is a real blow to the local economy.
“We are due to meet the management on Tuesday 15 December to discuss the business case for closure and whether there are any options available to keep the Rugby site open.
“We will also be exploring all avenues to assist our members, including the possibility of redeployment and the company’s offer for training and support for those seeking new jobs.”
PRH said that the distribution of its books at Rugby would transfer to another of its distribution sites at Frating, near Colchester, in 2017/18.
Unite has just over a 100 members at the centre who work as warehouse operatives.
Notes to editors:
For more information please contact Unite senior communications officer Shaun Noble in the Unite press office on 020 3371 2060 or 07768 693940.
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Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with over 1.4 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.