Lister Petter announces 32 more redundancies at Dursley factory before imminent move to Hardwicke as UNITE the Union seek consultation
7:00am Thursday 30th January 2014 in News Exclusive By Daniel Chipperfield, senior reporter covering Dursley, Cam, Wotton-under-Edge, Sharpness, Slimbridge, Berkeley, Coaley, Uley, North Nibley, Stinchcombe and Cambridge
ANOTHER 32 people at Lister Petter’s factory in Dursley are to lose their jobs as the troubled firm continues to slash its workforce amid supply issues.
The firm announced in November last year that up to 45 people would be out of a job by Christmas from both the Dursley site and at its facility in Hardwicke.
But a further 32 now face unemployment by the end of February after the announcement was made on Thursday (January 23), with 27 expected to go from the factory floor and five from support staff.
UNITE the Union regional officer Trevor Hall, who is dealing with the consultation process, said he had never known of a company announcing further redundancies during the 12-week notice period of an earlier redundancy announcement.
Mr Hall was set to meet the managing director on Wednesday (January 29) as the Gazette went to press but told the paper beforehand that if the firm gets the redundancies it wanted, there would only be 65 shop floor workers left.
“Obviously the workforce is very despondent, the morale is terrible,” he said.
“They are concerned for their futures, they are worrying about whether it is not the end.
“When they made the original redundancies the company thought that was going to be it, but business conditions have changed this so they have had to make more.
“It is obviously quite serious for that to happen, that’s what we’re worried about.”
When asked by the Gazette why the redundancies were deemed necessary, director Pat Comer said: “To match capacity so we can achieve the first part of 2014, based on current supply constraints.”
Lister Petter, which employed around 190 staff before the cutbacks in November, has been based in Dursley for almost 150 years and at its height employed around 5,000 people.
The company moved its parts operation to Hardwicke in 2012 and the rest of the workforce is expected to move there later this year.
UNITE had criticised the company during the earlier job cuts, saying poor management had resulted in the losses.
At the time Mr Comer had confirmed that delays in supplying critical components for its engines had impacted short term working but denied it had contributed to the cuts, instead claiming the company was focusing on overseas production.
Concerns were later raised that the weekly redundancy packages were not being paid on time to laid-off workers, which was blamed on the company changing banks.
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