FEARS have been growing over the future of hundreds of jobs at Quinn Glass after redundancies at its site in Elton.
Concerned drivers delivering thousands of tonnes of sand and limestone to the factory are fighting for their jobs after the multi-million-pound glass company announced nine driver redundancies over the next few months.
The redundancies, which will see six drivers leave the company following a 30-day consultation period, with three more being made redundant by the end of the year, has sparked rumours of problems at the Cheshire site, despite the company securing the jobs of its 738 workers this time last year by landing a multi-million-pound wine bottling contract with Jacobs Creek.
It was hoped the five-year contract, which saw Quinn Glass become the first factory to bottle the wine outside Australia, would safeguard the future of the factory.
Following the announcement, workers feared for the future of hundreds of jobs. However, in a statement released this week, Quinn Glass insisted it was ‘committed to growing and strengthening its operations in the area long into the future’.
One concerned driver, who did not wish to be named, said he had worked for the company for five years and that he was concerned the company was bringing workers over from Ireland rather than keeping on their UK staff.
“They are bringing people over to do our work and making us redundant,” he said.
“It is like being stabbed in the back. I hope that my job is safe but everyone is worried.”
The redundancies, which will leave Quinn Glass with just nine checking this HGV drivers at the UK site, are the result of an attempt by the manufacturer to take thousands of tonnes of raw materials off the roads and on to its new £2m railway link which is to open by the end of this year.
A spokeswoman for Quinn Glass said the redundancies came after a comprehensive review of operations and production levels.
The initial redundancies are due to a combination of the reduction in the weight of glass bottles, along with higher than forecast levels of finished stock across the industry.
The second round would be caused by the initiation of the new rail link.
“All members of staff who are affected by both of these changes have been informed and every effort will be made to redeploy them within the operation,” said the spokeswoman.
“Quinn Glass has a seven-year history of manufacturing in Elton, and is committed to growing and strengthening its operations in the area long into the future.
“As such, the company has and continues to place significant investment in the site and its workforce, to retain its position as a major local employer.”