Workers fury at Textron job cuts

WORKERS at one of the best-known factories in Suffolk returned to their posts today – knowing that they could be out of jobs by Christmas.They spoke of their shock and disbelief at being told that up to 200 jobs could go if production of Textron grass care equipment ceases in the town.

WORKERS at one of the best-known factories in Suffolk returned to their posts today – knowing that they could be out of jobs by Christmas.

They spoke of their shock and disbelief at being told that up to 200 jobs could go if production of Textron grass care equipment ceases in the town.

As they arrived for their early morning shift, their faces and body language all too clearly showed the affect of the news that they were told yesterday.

Some people refused to comment about the possible redundancies while others felt it necessary to speak their minds.


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The general feeling sweeping across the factory floor was of total surprise and devastation.

Adrian Ward, 55, who has worked at the site for 32 years said the news yesterday saddened him.

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"I was shocked but not totally surprised by yesterday's announcement.

"Textron have spent a lot of money on the place over the last couple of years and that's why we can't understand what has happened. It all seems very sudden." said Mr Ward.

He continued: "I'm not sure of my plans but I'm better off than some."

Works convenor Keith Barker, 56, who has been with the company for 37 years, said: "I am gutted. That is the only way I can describe how I am feeling today.

"I am as surprised as everyone else. I knew something was going on but I thought they were trying to make us more efficient.

"The whole group was not good but we were under the impression that they had plans to streamline the business and everything would be ok. Then all of a sudden an email was sent to the managing director from the States saying they didn't think the business could be turned around."

He continued: "I have spoken to Chris Mole MP and he is hoping to come up and see what he can do to help the situation."

Keith Spurling, 56, a loyal employee for 27 years, said: "I knew there was going to be changes but I never expected a total closure. I am shocked and devastated."

One employer, who did not wish to be named, said: "I'm not at all surprised. Textron have a reputation for asset stripping.

"I knew at the back of mind something wasn't right and now it's the beginning of the end."

Hydraulics engineer Daniel Oldfield, 25, of Cambridge Drive, Ipswich joined the company four years ago. He said the mood among workers was a mixture of anger and disbelief, especially as they are faced with a bleak fortnight's holiday starting on Friday.

He said: "We're all pretty gutted, it was a complete shock.

"I've got a six-month-old daughter at home, but at least I'm young. I can go and do other things.

"There's a lot of guys in there in their 60s who don't know anything else - it's them I feel sorry for.

"There's plenty of work in there, Ransome's should have it back. They should never have allowed the Americans to take over in the first place."

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