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We kept print plant alive, now we feel so let down by job losses
11:50am Friday 20th December 2013 in News
UNION leaders have described the planned closure of a Colchester printing plant as “devastating news”.
Print giant Polestar, which has three plants in the town, has put about 85 workers on 30 days notice of redundancy.
It includes workers in the bindery and in one of the company’s two main print bases, on Severalls Industrial Park, where the M4000 printer is based.
Each employee affected was due to receive a redundancy notice in the post yesterday.
An emergency meeting will be held on Sunday to discuss the union’s official response to the announcement.
In an e-mail to chapel members, union chiefs told them: “It’s devastating news, especially coming so close to the festive period.
“However, we remain committed to ensure compulsory redundancies are kept to the absolute minimum.”
It is understood more work could become available at the company’s main Colchester press site, also on Severalls Industrial Park, which is unaffected by the redundancies.
If that is the case, six jobs would be created, including two printers, two assistants, one floater and one material handler.
A Polestar employee, who the Gazette has agreed not to name, said: “The mood is very down at the moment.
“We’ve taken pay cuts, we were told, to keep the company alive for five years, but we feel we’ve been let down by management.
“A lot of what people are feeling is anger at the way it’s been done. We knew this was coming, yes, but we didn’t expect it so soon.”
Bob Caley, managing director of Polestar in Colchester, has also told union bosses any employee who wants to apply for a job in a proposed new press at a site in the north should write to him personally.
It is not clear whether the M4000 press will be decommissioned or moved elsewhere.
If it moves, it is hoped Colchester staff are allowed to apply for work there.
The Colchester site prints women’s magazines Best and Now, as well as music magazine ý Closing – print firm Polestar in Colchester Kerrang.
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