Factory stays open - Leaderflush boss

THE boss of doormaking firm Leaderflush Shapland has denied that the firm is closing its Barnstaple factory. Union leaders said yesterday (Tuesday) that the site was closing next month with the loss of 185 jobs. But managing director Todd Altman said:

THE boss of doormaking firm Leaderflush Shapland has denied that the firm is closing its Barnstaple factory. Union leaders said yesterday (Tuesday) that the site was closing next month with the loss of 185 jobs. But managing director Todd Altman said: "We are consulting with the workforce regarding the proposed job cuts. The consultation will be 90 days, so it is unlikely to be concluded by May. "We have proposed 185 redundancies out of a total workforce on the site of 293 people. "This will leave a minimum of 105 people working in Barnstaple for Leaderflush Shapland. We are not closing our site in Barnstaple. "Through the consultation process with the union representatives, we are hopeful that we can identify opportunities to reduce the number of proposed job losses. "Our relationship with the workforce and the union is strong and collaborative and we are trying to make the consultation process work. "Our business is the market leader in its field and we remain profitable and ready to weather the current economic climate. The operations which will remain in Barnstaple are core to our business and are trading strongly." Earlier yesterday, the company, with other factories in Nottingham, Sheffield and Birmingham issued a statement saying it was going to talk to the GMB union about a possible reduction in the total workforce. But Kevin Norman, a full time senior official of the GMB in Plymouth, said the workforce had been told of the closure plan at midday.In a further statement this morning, Mr Altman said the announcement that the site would close had been widely reported and "was inaccurate and very damaging to our employees and our business."He said a further meeting with union representatives was taking place this morning.He said: "Our consultation with the union is already identifying opportunities to reduce the total number of redundant roles, which has been reduced by approximately 25."This would leave 133 people working on our Barnstaple site, making Leaderflush Shapland a significant employer in this area on an ongoing basis."But Mr Altman said plans to relocate manufacturing facilities from its riverside site to the Roundswell industrial estate remained on hold."We are currently unable to fund the move through the sale of our land at Anchorwood Bank," he said.


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