Anger of Suffolk job losses

UNION chiefs today hit out at a company's bosses after it emerged that 180 laid off workers would receive only the state minimum redundancy packages.

UNION chiefs today hit out at a company's bosses after it emerged that 180 laid off workers would receive only the state minimum redundancy packages.

The Transport and General Workers' Union accused private equity firm Alchemy Partners of ignoring the years of loyal service of their former staff at plastics firm Storeys Industrial Products at Brantham, which is now under administration.

In January workers were told 90 jobs were to go at the site, which was formerly known as Wardle Storeys, but that figure has since doubled.

Storeys makes plastic sheeting and has other sites at Blackburn, Bangor and Earby in Lancashire.

The union has submitted a legal claim against Alchemy, which owns Storeys, for failure to consult with the workforce. It says if it is successful the sacked workers will receive up to 90 days' notice pay.

The union claims former workers are in the process of receiving state redundancy pay, and the trustees of the pension fund are assessing the position regarding pension scheme members.

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Peter Stephens, T&G regional industrial organiser, said: “Alchemy has sold off the profitable parts of the business, leaving the taxpayer to pick up the bill for redundancy and possibly pensions.

“They have walked away from a loyal workforce that deserves more respect after years of service for this company.

“Many members have been deeply upset at the way they have been treated, and now they and their families face an uncertain future with just the minimum state payout.

“Shareholders have been put before people - workers, taxpayers and the community. This case raises further serious questions about the impact of private equity.”

No one from Alchemy or liquidators Baker Tilly was available for comment today.

Are you one of the sacked workers? How do you feel about the decision over redundancy pay? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.

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