Belfast Telegraph

It's unfortunate, but tough decisions have to be made

By David Elliot

In a downturn, companies tend to hoard workers for sentimental and legal reasons and it's often not until a business has got itself well in to the red that it starts to shed personnel.

In the case of Peacocks, the beleaguered high street retailer - which has just been saved from administration by Edinburgh Woollen Mill - it took a new owner to make the cuts.

Of the 9,000 people it employs across the UK, over 3,000 will be made redundant - including 260 in Northern Ireland.

While the pain for those affected can't be overlooked, especially in these tough times where jobs aren't ten-a-penny, by taking such decisive action, the new owners are hoping the future for the remaining staff and shops is looking a lot brighter.

Losing such a substantial proportion of the workforce may seem like a bitter pill to swallow, but the alternative is worse. Had no buyer emerged the whole of the company's future would have been in jeopardy.

The reality of today's business climate is decisions like this are taken on a daily basis across the country.

Let's hope this lag effect between economic health and the labour market means we're past the worst and can look forward to a more positive future.

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