Jobs still on the line at Myer's

TALKS were still on-going at Myers in Huntingdon, as The Hunts Post went to press on Tuesday (September 30) concerning 91 job redundancies. The job losses have been caused by the credit crunch, a trade union spokesman said. Glenn Holdom, regional organise

TALKS were still on-going at Myers in Huntingdon, as The Hunts Post went to press on Tuesday (September 30) concerning 91 job redundancies.

The job losses have been caused by the credit crunch, a trade union spokesman said.

Glenn Holdom, regional organiser for the GMB said talks last week between the union and company representatives had lasted for five hours.

He said: "We wanted to establish that there was a genuine need for the redundancies." He said the job losses were predicted across the whole factory but most vulnerable were people in the saw mill. The union suspected that Myer's wanted to buy in parts rather than continue to manufacture them on site. He suggested another area affected would be the quilt shop.

Mr Holdom said: "The company says that people are just not buying beds.

"People are under financial pressure, so they will be concerned with paying their mortgage or their rent and putting food on the table, replacements for beds will have to wait. Up and down the country, small and medium-sized businesses are making redundancies - whether it will unravel any further remains to be seen. We are doing everything we can to try to save as many jobs as possible at Myer's. We hope that there will be some voluntary redundancies to protect the other jobs and we hope that agency and temporary workers will be let go first."

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While the discussions continued, Myer's employees are anxiously waiting for an official announcement about how many jobs will go.

A worker who phoned the Hunts Post newsroom and wanted to remain anonymous said morale had been severely affected.

She said: "They have locked themselves in their office and we're not being told anything. Everyone here is absolutely appalled at how they are being treated. We are being kept in the dark. One minute we've being told 29 office staff and 62 from the shop floor will go and the next minute we've told it's still up for discussion. Workers are really concerned."

She added: "The news of job cuts has come as a shock to us. We've heard that it's because people aren't buying beds, but then why am I working overtime?"

Last week a spokesman for Hildling Anders, the Swedish company that purchased Myer's last year, said they had started a consultation with union representatives regarding a downsize of Myer's. As The Hunts Post went to press on Tuesday afternoon, a spokesman for Hilding Anders said talks were still ongoing and they could not confirm any numbers.

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