The MPS is under pressure to question Wilko bosses following the high street’s collapse.
The company went bankrupt in early August, leading to the loss of about 12,500 jobs and the closure of its 398 stores.
As The Mail on Sunday revealed, £77m in dividends was distributed to the retailer’s owners and shareholders in the decade before its collapse. The unions are now demanding a parliamentary inquiry into the company’s disappearance.
The GMB has written to the House of Commons business and commerce select committee to call an emergency session to hold Wilko bosses to account. The union wants MPs to question Lisa Wilkinson, the granddaughter of Wilko’s founder, who helped run the discount retail empire for 20 years.
In a letter to committee chair Liam Byrne MP, GMB national officer Nadine Houghton said: ‘From ignoring clear warnings about the future to handing out millions in payouts to owners and shareholders, Wilko’s management has failed at every turn. .
New owner: The Wilko brand was sold to The Range, run by tycoon Chris Dawson, dubbed the ‘Del Boy billionaire’.
‘The collapse is not only a tragedy for its loyal workforce, but will also compound 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.” Administrators have agreed to sell 122 former Wilko sites to B&M and Poundland, with the stores reopening under the new owner’s name. The Wilko brand was sold to The Range, run by tycoon Chris Dawson, dubbed the ‘Del Boy billionaire’.
The Range said yesterday it will open up to five Wilko stores before Christmas, including Plymouth, Exeter and Luton.
A spokesman for the business committee said: “The chairman has been very clear that he is determined that the committee will keep up its work in exposing corporate wrongdoing.”
Wilko remained under family ownership since its formation in Leicester by James Kemsey Wilkinson in 1930.