Leaderflush factory bosses conclude redundancy talks
FACTORY bosses hope to conclude one-to-one redundancy talks with workers at a Barnstaple door-making factory today (Thursday). Speaking to the Gazette this morning, Leaderflush Shapland director Robert Llewellyn confirmed that 134 jobs were being axed fro
FACTORY bosses hope to conclude one-to-one redundancy talks with workers at a Barnstaple door-making factory today (Thursday).
Speaking to the Gazette this morning, Leaderflush Shapland director Robert Llewellyn confirmed that 134 jobs were being axed from the 293-strong workforce at the Anchorwood Bank factory.
The number of redundancies has fallen from the 185 identified as being "at risk" when news of the possible cuts was revelled by the Gazette at the beginning of April.
Mr Llewellyn said: "We initially identified 185 jobs that were at risk and have reduced that number to 134 as a result of a constructive and collaborative consultation process between management and union representatives.
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"Our priority today is holding one-to-one interviews with members of staff; we hope to conclude these by the end of the day."
Mr Llewellyn said the company would not comment on the types of jobs being made redundant and would be making no further statements about the cuts.
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The company, previously known as Shapland & Petter, has been operating in Barnstaple since the 1850s.
It said it had been forced to make the cuts because of the recession.
Also speaking to the Gazette today, GMB regional organiser Kevin Norman said that union officials had spent "hours upon hours" locked in talks with Leaderflush management.
"Through consultation, we have managed to bring the amount of redundancies down, mainly through re-structuring and by looking closely at working practices," he said.
"Leaderflush has been very positive all the way through and even this morning, agreed to bring some work down to Barnstaple from a factory in the North of the country; this will mean 12 of the 134 redundancies will be reinstated over the next five-or-six weeks."
Mr Norman said that 50 per cent of the redundancies had been made on a voluntary basis.
He said that the effects of the cuts were being felt "community-wide".
"Being a medium-sized town, there are probably very few families in Barnstaple that do not know someone who works or has worked at Leaderflush Shapland," he said.
"But my view is that Leaderflush is here to stay; the factory has a long-term future in Barnstaple.
"It produces a high-quality product and I think quality will always survive.
"The factory is well-placed for a turn-around as we come out of the recession and it is my hope for the future that many of those who have lost their jobs will be reengaged as businesses picks up.