Job losses at Great Yarmouth firm were ‘necessary’

PUBLISHED: 16:21 23 September 2012 | UPDATED: 17:03 23 September 2012

Unite has said the redundancies are

Unite has said the redundancies are "terrible" news for the borough

Archant Norfolk Photographic © 2011

A WORKER has told of the toxic atmosphere at stricken firm Norfolk Capacitors which led him to quit this week.

Administrators KPMG have cut 66 jobs - from a former staff total of 106 - since taking control on August 31.

And those still in their jobs have received no pay for the month of August, as bosses say they do not have enough cash.

One worker, who did not want to be named, survived both rounds of cuts - first 20 night shift workers were sacked and then a further 46 - but decided to quit as he could not survive with uncertainty surrounding pay.

The worker wrote in an email to the Mercury: “I decided I could not win under the conditions I was forced to endure at Norfolk Capacitors.

“They paid me for a week and then said they could not even guarantee when they would pay me again so I have been forced to quit and move back to my family.”

He said some staff have been left unable to afford essentials and have had to take out crisis loans.

The worker claimed that being “forced to work” without being paid for labour “shows no concept or consideration for the position we are in”.

And he alleged staff were told that “unless they do as they are ordered they will be sacked for breaking their contract and won’t be able to claim anything”.

A spokesman for KPMG refuted this version of events and said: “All staff who are continued to be employed under the administration will be paid for the days they work from September 1 onwards.

“Ordinarily staff are paid monthly, but because of the difficulties by the August salaries not having been paid, the administrators have been making weekly wage payments so that staff don’t have to wait until the end of September for any money.

“The administrators are continuing to trade and attempting to generate surplus funds to enable the arrears owing to staff for August to be paid.”

The spokesman added: “However, this is not guaranteed and at present we are unable to make any commitments in this regard.”

The firm, which employed 106 at two sites in Great Yarmouth and Gorleston, went into administration after “cash flow issues” which could not be resolved.

Chris Pole, joint administrator at KPMG, said the redundancies were necessary “to down size the business to a level appropriate to service the remaining order book”.

He added it was disappointing, but that it created “an opportunity for the business to re-focus on its historically profitable core operation”.

Tony Eland, chairman of the Great Yarmouth branch of the union Unite, said the redundancies were terrible news for the borough.

“We’ve got high unemployment and we’re coming to the end of the season, and smaller shops have gone,” he said. “This is devastating for the town.”

Mr Eland continued: “I wish that there was more we could have done.”

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