As Masters is set to cease trading on 11 December 2016, one of the firm’s main focuses was to assist staff during this time, a Woolworths spokesperson told HC
“Woolworths will work hard to find Masters employees jobs within the group or will pay full redundancy where suitable roles are not available,” he said.
In an interview with The Business
, CEO Brad Banducci reiterated his promise to take care of the Masters workers.
"Every one of those team members will have an opportunity to come and work somewhere else within the Woolworths group," he said. "But even if we have to be slightly over-resourced in the short-term, I think it's incredibly important for us in terms of the culture we want to build in our business."
Gerard Dwyer, president of the SDA – the retail workers union – told ABC
they were working with Woolworths and its competitors to find new roles for all workers.
"We've actually already commenced discussions with Masters, with HTH and also with Bunnings."
As for the Home business, this will be sold to Metcash. While most branches will continue to operate, two company-owned stores and one distribution centre will be shut down.
Woolworths has prepared a detailed transition plan to support staff affected by these closures either relocating them within the group or with a full redundancy package.
“Woolworths’ top priority remains to do the right thing by our employees, customers, suppliers and shareholders. We will provide a certain and transparent timetable to all our stakeholders during the exit process,” Banducci said on Wednesday (24 August).
“Since the sale process began, our 7,700 staff in the home improvement businesses have worked extremely hard in an uncertain environment and we sincerely thank them for their commitment.”
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Woolworth’s movement out of the hardware space – and its subsequent sale of Masters Home Improvement and Home Timber & Hardware – will see HR having to support a total of 7,700 employees during the transition.