Threat to Pankhurst?
PUBLISHED: 16:22 18 August 2008 | UPDATED: 09:30 10 June 2010
MONDAY, AUGUST 18: workers at an Exmouth engineering company fear they could lose their jobs. Pankhurst Engineering Company, in Littleham Road, which supplies mould bases for the palstics industry, axed seven workers three months ago. Now remaining staff fear the recent job
workers at an Exmouth engineering company fear they could lose their jobs.Pankhurst Engineering Company, in Littleham Road, which supplies mould bases for the palstics industry, axed seven workers three months ago.Now remaining staff fear the recent job losses coupled with industry competition and an unstable economy could spell the end of the factory.A worker at Pankhurst told the Journal the company had entered into a 30-day consultation period.Law states that consultation must begin when an employer is proposing redundancies. An employer should not have come to a definite decision to make workers redundant and employee representatives should still be able to influence the outcome. Where an employer is proposing to dismiss between 20 and 99 employees, consultation must begin at least 30 days before the redundancy notices take effect. At its peak, Pankhurst employed around 300 staff - today the company has 36 workers.Pankhurst acting managing director Gary Lomas refused to confirm or deny if the company was closing - or if the remaining workforce were to face redundancy.He rejected claims from workers that staff morale was low because of the uncertainty surrounding job security.When tackled by the Journal about any talks, possible job losses and closure rumours, Mr Lomas said: "How would you know what's going on? I've got no comment to make. "You have not given me enough time to get the facts together. "You must make up the story based on the rumours going around. "I have spoken to 36 workers and I have found a very positive workforce."A 41-year-old Exmouth father-of-two, who has worked at Pankhurst for 12 years and wants to remain anonymous, said: "We have a 30-day consultation period. "It's unsettling and morale is pretty low because nobody knows what's going on - the communication is not very good. Nobody's really saying anything."Three months ago, a 51-year-old Brixington grandfather-of-three, who did not want to be named, was made redundant from Pankhurst after 31 years.He claimed a text message from a colleague still working at the engineering company revealed Pankhurst was to close."The factory will be closed as the jobs are finished," said the former worker.