Mike Ashley addresses XPO Logistics, House of Fraser dispute
Mike Ashley has held crisis talks with XPO Logistics in an attempt to resolve a dispute over two warehouses in Milton Keynes and Wellingborough that supply House of Fraser.
The Sports Direct owner, who recently bought House of Fraser, attended a meeting at the Wellingborough facility yesterday. Sports Direct and XPO clashed after HoF fell into administration owing the latter £30 million.
XPO has instructed staff at the aforementioned warehouses to down tools in an attempt to force the issue. Sources close to Sports Direct, which says that it is not obliged to pay the near £1 billion owed to House of Fraser creditors at the time of its collapse, insist it will not be “held to ransom”.
Ashley’s rescue plan slammed
Yesterday, RTIH reported that Ashley had come under fire from the GMB union after 627 jobs were put under threat at XPO Logistics. Alan Costello, GMB Organiser, said: “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.”
He added: “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.”