Wilko bosses must be hauled before Parliament’s Business and Trade Select Committee to give evidence over the firm’s collapse, GMB has said.
The union has written to newly elected select committee chair Liam Byrne MP to call for a special emergency session of the committee to hold Wilko chiefs to account.
Discount high street retailer Wilko went bust earlier this year, leaving more than 10,000 workers without a job.
Bosses shelled out £77 million in dividends to themselves and shareholders during the past decade – and the Wilkinson family have not yet spoken questions about the business’ collapse.
Nadine Houghton, National Officer, said, “From ignoring clear warnings about the business’ future, to dishing out millions in payouts for owners and shareholders, Wilko management has failed at every turn.
“The collapse of Wilko isn’t just a tragedy for its loyal workforce, it will also add to the decline of high streets across the country.
“Wilko workers deserve answers from the company that crushed their livelihoods.
“The new select committee chair should call an urgent emergency session on Wilko to demand those answers.”
In September, Houghton said, “This isn’t a tragedy without cause. Wilko should have thrived in a bargain retail sector that is otherwise strong, but it was run into the ground by the business owners.
“Money was siphoned out of the business for dividends, warnings about what needed to be done to save the business were not heeded and advice around what the business had to do to thrive was not listened to.
“No worker caused the downfall of Wilko. But they will be the ones who will suffer – all as the owners get off scot-free.
“GMB will not stop campaigning for the owners of this debacle to be held to account.”
Labour’s shadow business secretary Jonathan Reynolds said, “This is heartbreaking news for staff and their families who have been holding out hope of a deal that would protect their jobs.
“Sadly, shuttered-up shops have become the norm under the Conservatives who have weakened the foundations of our economy with local high streets paying the price.”