Local councillors visit JD Sports distribution centre

Date published: 15 November 2019

The leader of Rochdale Borough Council and two councillors recently visited and toured the JD Sports distribution centre at Kingsway Business Park.

Councillors Allen Brett, Shakil Ahmed and Daalat Ali were shown around the site by Pat Lee, group supply chain and change director, and Stephanie Boardman, HR business partner distribution.

Rochdale welcomed the sportswear and fashionwear retailer to Kingsway in 2012, the biggest private sector employer in Rochdale. When it first opened, the warehousing and distribution facility had capacity of 1.4 million square feet and employed over 1,000 people.

Since then, the capacity has increased to almost two million square feet, and there are currently around 5,000 employees onsite.

In July, more than 600 workers lodged a grievance over changes in breaks during night shifts, with councillors urging the retailer to rethink their workers’ breaks.

The number of breaks during a typical 12-hour night shift has reduced from three to two, although the overall one-hour time provided for breaks has not changed.

A consultation process will begin in the New Year to review all 38 existing full and part-time shift patterns currently available at Kingsway, including moving to a fixed five-day shift pattern, as recommended by USDAW.

Councillor Ahmed said: “I’m pleased that they are listening to workers and showing an appropriate duty of care. JD is a highly successful, international, multi-billion-pound business and I’m glad that they chose our award-winning business park as their home.”

 A spokesperson for JD Sports said: “We were pleased to welcome council leader Allen Brett, Councillor Shakil Ahmed and Councillor Daalat Ali to our Kingsway facility and are pleased that they have recognised our positive approach to the health and safety of our colleagues, which is our utmost priority.

“We are proud of our facility at Kingsway and believe that it makes a significant and positive contribution to the local community.”

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