Upper Crust owners plan to make 5,000 UK staff redundant in wake of coronavirus pandemic

THE COMPANY behind Upper Crust is planning to make more than half of its UK workforce redundant, it has been reported.

SSP Group, which employs 9,000 people in the UK, will unveil plans to axe up to 5,000 jobs after suffering heavy losses due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The company behind Upper Crust is set to axe up to 5,000 jobs

The announcement is due to be made in a joint statement with the London Stock Exchange, Sky News reported.

The firm – which has units in airports, train stations and motorway services stations – has been affected by the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on international travel.

About 580 of SSP’s sites, which include those trading under the Caffe Ritazza brand, are located in the UK.

The company said it has suffered “extremely low sales” after the pandemic forced it to shut sites.

The travel food specialist reported that like-for-like sales tumbled 8.4 per cent in the half year to March 31 after most global markets were hammered by the virus and subsequent travel restrictions.

LOW SALES

Only 10 per cent of its units continued to trade throughout April, as the company “effectively hibernated”, it said.

Simon Smith, chief executive officer of SSP Group, said: “Covid-19 has had an unprecedented impact on the travel sector.

“Our response has been to take quick and decisive action to protect our people and our business, whilst around the world our colleagues have helped and supported their local communities.

“Although challenging, it was a great illustration of SSP at its best and demonstrated the resilience of our teams.

Upper Crust sites are mainly located at transport hubs such as airports or train stations

“Looking forward, and with sufficient liquidity to manage a pessimistic trading scenario, I believe the actions we have been taking during this crisis will make us a fitter and stronger business, well placed to deliver for all our stakeholders as the travel market recovers.”

A message circulated among staff on Tuesday reportedly said the company had “come to the very difficult conclusion that we will need to simplify and reshape our business and, from tomorrow, we will be starting a collective consultation on a number of proposed changes to the business”.

It added: “This includes a proposed reorganisation which could lead to a headcount reduction of up to c.5,000 across SSP Group, SSP Finance and SSP UK, which includes all head office colleagues and both salaries and hourly paid colleagues in operations.”

Sun Online has contacted SSP Group for comment.

Today, EasyJet announced it will sack up to 4,500 staff and close hubs at Stansted, Southend and Newcastle airports.

Pilots union BALPA said 727 cockpit crew faced the axe – around one in three of easyJet’s 2,300 pilots in the UK.

EasyJet told how it won’t reach expected revenue levels post lockdown until 2023.

EasyJet announced it will sack up to 4,500 staff

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