Some 115 factory workers in Corby, Northamptonshire, received the shocking news today (Thursday) that they have lost their jobs—with immediate effect.
The workers, at the multinational clothing manufacture Aquascutum, have also been told that they won’t get their last week’s wages.
Debbie Gill is the GMB union shop steward at the factory. She told Socialist Worker, “People were stunned at first when they were told they were being made redundant. It was only later when the director decided to add that we weren’t getting paid that it really began to sink in.
“People came up to me crying. Management said, ‘Don’t worry, you’ll get it in six weeks from the government.’ But that’s no good when you have to put food on the table and have bills to pay.
“Some people haven’t got a penny in the bank and now face six weeks with nothing.
“My daughter works at the factory too—she’s just had to cancel her holiday.”
The company has manufactured in Corby for more than 100 years. It went into administration on Tuesday.
“I’ve worked on and off at the factory for 30 years,” said Debbie. “It’s the sort of place where you’d leave school, get a job there and retire. Most of the people have worked there for more than ten years.
“At Christmas the directors told us that if we made 9,000 coats by a deadline we’d be back on track—and that if we beat it we’d get a bonus.
“We worked tirelessly and hit 9,500. People cheered in the canteen. But they lied to us—they knew the factory was going down.
“They’ve hung us out to dry. We’ve been stung—by the bankers and by the government. I find it unbelievable.”
The GMB says that the company failed to consult them for the legal requirement of 90 days. The union now plans to pursue the company in the courts.