Tempers fray over Triumph job losses

First published in News Swindon Advertiser: Photograph of the Author by , @BerenCross

MENLO employees may stop work if employer Triumph continues to keep them in the dark with last-minute announcements regarding their futures in Groundwell.

Meetings between lingerie manufacturers Triumph, warehouse operator Menlo and union Unite have become more frequent in the past fortnight.

As more information is set in place to determine the factors in the release of 80 workers from their contracts at the site in Arkwright Road, staff are becoming more impatient with how little is passed on to them.

One warehouse operator, who chose to remain anonymous, said: “There was a consultation meeting last Thursday afternoon and we went into work on Friday morning expecting answers straight away.

“Tempers were really beginning to fray. We were made to wait until 11.50am because management decided they didn’t want us to know.

“We were very angry. Many of us were talking about stopping work and demanding answers. Why should they stop us from having the information?

“We are made to wait all the time. I’m so tired of being made to wait all the time. People are losing their tempers.

“When you’re in there it’s frustration more than anything, that you know they have got the answers and all they’re saying is you have to wait until the end of the day. We start at 8am on Fridays and finish at noon, so they left it until the last minute to tell us.”

The latest development in the redundancy saga, following the April 14 announcement Triumph would terminate its contract with Menlo, is dates set for three phases of release at the firm.

Menlo employees have been told 28 staff will depart on June 9, 36 on July 7 and a further 12 at the end of July. Four other Triumph employees make up the 80 to go.

Official packages to be offered to employees in the firing line, some of whom have been working with the firm for the past 20 years, have not been determined, but the outspoken Menlo worker said the news is promising.

“They have told us there’s an enhanced package now,” she said. “It was good, the fact they’re offering an enhanced package. Two years ago, the last time there was a round of redundancies, they offered an enhanced package which doubled the statutory package.”

The final question still to be answered is who will leave the business and when. The warehouse operator said she and her colleagues want answers to that question sooner rather than later.

Triumph declined to comment.

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