MORE than 120 jobs at the Altham branch of a major newspaper and magazine distributor are at risk.
Dawson Holdings plc, the owner of Dawson News, this week announced its future is under threat after losing a number of high-profile contracts.
Almost 3,000 jobs nationally are now hanging in the balance at the firm’s many distribution centres.
The Hyndburn branch, based on Altham Business Park, is facing cuts in many areas including management, clerical staff, warehouse operatives and drivers.
Company bosses say recent developments in the industry have created a situation in which the distribution of newspapers and magazines could soon be controlled by just two regional monopolies, Menzies and Smith’s.
The National Federation of Retail Newsagents has already expressed its concern over the future lack of competition in the industry and trade union Unite is also aware of the problem.
Dawson bosses have written to Hyndburn MP Greg Pope to explain the situation in the industry and the danger to jobs.
Peter Harris, chief executive of Dawson Holdings, said: "With jobs on the line, I felt it was important to try to demonstrate to the local communities that will be affected what is happening in our industry and why.
"We price our bids for contracts very aggressively and would be interested to know how we were unable to compete. I think the Office of Fair Trading would also be interested.
"We are in no way criticising the OFT, which has rightly pointed out that there is scope for more competition in the industry. However, I am saying that in the meantime a situation has arisen in which there could be virtually no competition whatsoever.
"That is not healthy for the industry, for the retailers, for consumers and most importantly for those people who may now lose their jobs."