Corby Avon jobs shock

One of Corby's most well-known firms is to make nearly half of its permanent workers in the town redundant.

Friday, 28th September 2018, 10:06 am
Updated Friday, 28th September 2018, 3:54 pm
Avon factory in Earlstrees Industrial Estate, Corby ENGNNL00120111230131049

Avon, which has a 100,000 sq ft distribution warehouse on the Earlstrees Industrial Estate, is set to make a total of 104 redundancies because of what it says are ‘technological improvements’.

It is believed there are about 240 full-time workers at the plant.

A company statement said: “Avon is modernising its business to improve the service it provides to its customers and representatives. This will result in a more efficient operation and involves 24 hour working and new technology investment in its distribution centre in Corby, with a new extension due to go live at the end of September.

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Avon factory in Earlstrees Industrial Estate, Corby ENGNNL00120111230131100

“The proposed changes are unfortunately resulting in a total of 104 redundancies across Avon’s Corby branch between September this year and January next year.

“Both Avon and trade union USDAW (Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers) are working closely with those effected to ensure they are supported through and beyond these changes.”

In 2016 the firm made 75 workers redundant across its Northampton and Corby sites, although staff claimed it was closer to 126 in real terms.

A worker from Avon in Corby said: “Avon was once regarded as a prestigious place to work in Corby. It was a job for life.

“We’ve got used to people being made redundant in recent years but this has come as a shock to us.”

Usdaw area organiser Darren Matthews said: “Clearly this is terrible news for the staff affected and we are providing our members with the support, advice and representation they need at this difficult time. Usdaw continues in talks with the company where we are scrutinising the business case for this restructuring, while seeking the best deal available for staff and the support they deserve.”

Avon was started in the US by in 1886 by David H. McConnell to help give women the chance to earn an independent income.

It grew internationally until the 1980s when every town in Britain had an ‘Avon lady’ who called with the company’s famous catalogues.

But more recently it has struggled and in 2015 it withdrew from France, then earlier this year it closed its New Zealand and Australian branches.

It has also been criticised among women’s groups for attempts to adopt a multi-level marketing style of selling.

{READ MORE: ‘Temporary staff and robots’ will fulfil new roles at Corby Avon, say workers||}