Page last updated at 18:11 GMT, Wednesday, 14 January 2009

Grattan to shed over 1,000 staff

Grattan building
Grattan employs 2,200 people in Bradford

More than 1,000 jobs are to be cut at the Grattan home-shopping catalogue firm, the BBC has learnt.

The company has unveiled "streamlining" plans, but denied that every job is at risk, said business correspondent Martin Shankleman.

Grattan employs 3,800 people at its centres in Bradford, Sheffield, Peterborough and London.

The firm said all staff had been told their jobs may be affected in order to bring the company back into profit.

The streamlining is expected to have a "significant impact" on levels of employment across all departments, according to a statement from Grattan.

The company employs 2,200 staff at its Bradford site, 600 at its Sheffield site, 500 in Peterborough, 100 in London and 400 in retail outlets.

It really is a bitter blow to Bradford and the surrounding area
David Johnson, Usdaw union

David Johnson, national officer of the Usdaw union, said: "Everyone was aware that a business review was taking place that may have resulted in a number of redundancies.

"I have been told that this decision is not due to the economic downturn but reflects restructuring and repositioning in the traditional catalogue home shopping sector that has seen a steady decline in recent years.

"Many of the staff have worked for Grattan for a long time and also there are many different family generations who work for the company.

"They are a very hard-working and extremely loyal workforce. It really is a bitter blow to Bradford and the surrounding area."

Koert Tulleners, chief executive of Freeman Grattan Holdings, said: "Progress on our restructuring plans has been regularly communicated to our staff since being announced in spring 2008, and this next stage will be the most wide-ranging and significant.

"Until consultations are complete we are not in a position to comment or speculate on numbers of jobs and I know this will be a worrying time for colleagues.

"We have very loyal staff, customers and agents and the best and most secure outcome we can all work towards is to return FGH to profitability by the end of 2010."

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