Employee blasts firm over pay cuts

AN employee at a struggling Ipswich company has criticised the firm for “dangling the workforce on a string” over a controversial move to cut back hours for hundreds of staff.

AN employee at a struggling Ipswich company has criticised the firm for “dangling the workforce on a string” over a controversial move to cut back hours for hundreds of staff.

As revealed in The Evening Star last week, Alstons Furniture, based in Nacton Road is understood to be suffering from a lack of orders and has put workers on “short time” notice, traditionally an alternative to redundancies.

Under short time, which is legal under the national labour agreement, workers will be paid from just £2.90 an hour - close to half the national minimum wage.

The firm has refused to comment on the situation although one employee, who did not wish to be named, told The Evening Star that he and a number of his colleagues are less than happy with the situation.


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He said: “Short time is no good to anybody.

“As an employee I don't know whether I'm coming or going.

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“The only people who gain are Alstons as we are kept dangling on their string.

“How can they justify the fact they have just recently made people who are on temporary contracts, full time when we all know work was short.

“If the company are not guilty of anything why did they deny a representative from the union access just because he was ten minutes late, when he had come from Norwich and was held up in traffic?

“Add to this the fact that the money we will get is well below the average wage you can see why a lot of employees are very unhappy.”

Alstons Furniture is the biggest producer of bedroom furniture in the UK and employs around 250 people in the town.

It has been a major employer in Ipswich since moving to the town in 1942 and has a two-hectare site on Nacton Road, home to the present factory and offices.

Nobody at the company was available for comment.

Are you an Alstons employee facing tough times ahead? What do you make of the situation? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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