Jobs hang in balance

Employees at JJB in Dundalk have been told that they could now be facing the prospect of compulsory redundancy following what has been described by JJB as “very dissappointing” trading performances by the company.

Employees at JJB in Dundalk have been told that they could now be facing the prospect of compulsory redundancy following what has been described by JJB as “very dissappointing” trading performances by the company.

In a letter from JJB managment to employees which the Dundalk Democrat has obtained it says: “It is therefore with deep regret that I now have to inform you of the necessity to implement similiar survival and sustainability measures across our business here in Ireland.

“We have regrettably been left with no option but to seek agreement with our landlord in relation to the surrender of our lease and the closure of our store...”

“As you have been informed, during the briefing conducted at individual store and health club level, we are now facing a “collective redundancy” situation which unfortunately is expected to result in some 40 colleagues losing their jobs with JJB Sport Limited. While every reasonable effort will be made to mitigate the number of redundancies and to achieve the necessary reduction in employment number by voluntary means we cannot at this point rule out the requirement for compulsory redundancies.”

The Democrat understands that employees will be invited to re-apply for jobs under new terms with reduced pay or opt for voluntary redundancy.

Earlier in the month there seemed to light at the end of the tunnel for staff at JJB when US retailer Dick’s Sporting Goods announced that it was investing £20m in JJB Sports, throwing a lifeline to the loss-making UK chain and signalling international ambitions for the American business.

Dick’s, which runs over 550 stores in the US, said the deal would eventually see it become a controlling shareholder in JJB and would act as a stepping stone to its future growth and development.