Big W DC set to scale back
NO loss of hours - that's the promise to Big W Distribution Centre staff from management as the massive facility moves to slash its operating hours.
In a statement released yesterday, manager Stephen Gray announced that from the start of March the "DC" would scale back to a 12-hour operation, but gave a guarantee no permanent staff would have less work.
The move comes as Big W prepares to open a new distribution centre at Hoxton Park in Sydney, joining its other DC in South Australia, to service its retail network.
Of the 192 permanent staff at the Warwick DC, 148 are full-time and 31 part-time, with 13 others classed as "managerial".
Mr Gray said the company would "continue to work with team members to, where possible, provide shifts that reflect individual needs", saying a shorter working week but longer hours each day would be an option for some.
He also said "redeployment" to other Woolworths-owned outlets locally could be on the cards, such as to Woolworths Supermarket, and Dick Smith Electronics.
The reduction in operating time has been on the cards since Big W first mooted major changes on the way in July last year and follows the shedding of a range of casual jobs last month, which the company said was normal after the peak of Christmas.
Mr Gray said casual staff would still be used "for periods of peak work".
"The new distribution centre in Sydney will service 64 BIG W stores, including 40 of the 90 currently serviced out of Warwick," he said.
"The Warwick DC will continue to service 50 of its present 90 BIG W stores, predominately in Queensland.
"When we opened in Warwick in 1996, BIG W had 48 stores.
"Since then our store numbers have grown to 169, with plans for a further 31."
Mayor Ron Bellingham said he was "disappointed" at the scaling back of the Warwick DC, saying he accepted "at face value" the guarantee by management there would be no loss of hours for the permanent staff.
What do you think of the reduction in DC operating time?