THE town’s economy has been dealt another blow with the announcement that 200 jobs are to be given the chop at DHL.

In April, 202 staff at the DHL Morrisons Depot, based at South Marston Industrial Estate, were told they would be made redundant due to a centralisation of distribution.

The depot is being closed in favour of a new centralised hub in Bridgwater, Somerset, following a new contract with supermarket chain Morrisons which will create 1,000 jobs. DHL’s Elgin depot is staying open.

However staff claim that the South Marston depot’s closure will also result in more than 1,000 people being made redundant across the south west.

One employee, who wanted to remain anonymous, said that he expected all the staff would have left the site by December.

“There was obviously concern when the announcement was made but the concern was not as big because with the B&Q distribution centre being built, and DHL winning a contract for that, we thought the jobs would be transferred.

“We thought we would be transferred but that is not the case. They are now recruiting people not transferring.

“It feels very unfair, I have worked here for four years and plenty have worked here a lot longer and we are experienced. A lot of people are feeling the same and they are feeling the situation is unfair and they have been let down.”

Employees have been given the chance to transfer to the new distribution site in Somerset but it is unlikely many will take up the opportunity due to commitments in Swindon.

“There is the opportunity to transfer to Bridgwater with £2,000 compensation being offered, but that is fine if you are a single person renting but a lot of people have family and houses here so they are tied to the area and it is not so easy,” said the employee.

“I am sure DHL will be saying they are creating 1,000 jobs in Bridgwater but with three to four hundred people going at the sites that are closing down which adds up to more than 1,200 that is not creating jobs to me.”

The reports have been confirmed by the Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers (USDAW) who have representatives at the site.

An Usdaw spokesman said: “DHL confirmed in April their intention to transfer work from their Morrisons contract depots in Swindon and Yate to their new purpose built distribution centre in Bridgwater.

“The proposed closure of the Swindon depot puts around 200 permanent jobs at risk and although a definite date has yet to be confirmed, we expect it to close in late November or early December this year.

“Usdaw has been fully consulted about the proposed closure and although we are extremely disappointed by the decision we have reluctantly had to accept the company’s business case for the transfer.”

The news comes just over a week after the announcement the axe could soon be falling on hundreds of English Heritage employees after Government cuts to funding.

No one from DHL was available to comment.