Fury as work­ers told they will not be paid

Macclesfield Express - - BOSLEY TRAGEDY - STU­ART GREER

BOSSES of a Bosley mill are re­fus­ing to pay work­ers fac­ing re­dun­dancy in the wake of the deadly ex­plo­sions and fire last month.

Wood Treat­ment Ltd, which is owned by the Bo­den Group, said it can­not re­open the fac­tory for at least six months while po­lice and Health and Safety Ex­ec­u­tive in­ves­ti­gate the cause of the dis­as­ter.

Letters sent to staff said they would not re­ceive wages from Au­gust 7 on­wards, but they will re­ceive the min­i­mum statu­tory re­dun­dancy pay.

The firm em­ploys 50 staff, how­ever just six roles will be re­tained at a cat lit­ter pro­cess­ing plant on the site.

The move has been slammed by union chiefs, Mac­cles­field MP David Rut­ley and Cheshire East Coun­cil leader Michael Jones, who ac­cused the firm of walk­ing away from ‘trau­ma­tised’ staff.

Three work­ers died and a fourth worker is still miss­ing fol­low­ing a mas­sive ex­plo­sion on July 17.

Three bod­ies re­cov­ered are be­lieved to be­long to that of Dorothy Bai­ley, 62, Wil­liam Barks, 51, and Derek Moore, 62. Fur­ther re­mains have yet to be for­mally iden­ti­fied. Jason Shin­gler, 38, is still miss­ing.

Mr Rut­ley is de­mand­ing clar­i­fi­ca­tion from bosses at Wood Treat­ment Ltd over the mill work­ers’ fu­ture.

He said: “It’s mak­ing a dif­fi­cult sit­u­a­tion more chal­leng­ing for those em­ploy­ees and their fam­i­lies. The em­ploy­ees de­serve bet­ter than this par­tic­u­larly af­ter what they have been through.”

Coun Jones said: “I’m ap­palled at the treat­ment of these peo­ple by the mill own­ers. What­ever busi­ness is done by them from the site should de­liver lo­cal ben­e­fit.

“I’m ask­ing the ques- tions as to why the com­pany feels it can just walk away from these peo­ple and of­fer al­most no sup­port. How do they ex­pect peo­ple who are trau­ma­tised to cope fi­nan­cially?”

Ray Car­rick, re­gional or­gan­iser for the union GMB, said he was dis­ap­pointed at the re­dun­dan­cies and ‘alarmed that the em­ployer has in­formed its work­force that they will not be pay­ing any more wages to them, even though the con­sul­ta­tion has not been com­pleted’.

A spokesman for Wood Treat­ment Ltd: “Fol­low­ing the fire at our site in Bosley, we have had to take the dif­fi­cult de­ci­sion to con­sult our staff on re­dun­dancy.

“Un­for­tu­nately, the dev­as­ta­tion at the fac­tory and the on­go­ing joint po­lice HSE in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the cause of the fire mean that we can­not pre­dict when the fac­tory will be op­er­a­tional again.

“Fur­ther­more, the po­lice have in­formed us the in­ves­ti­ga­tion may take six months or more and we will not be able to ac­cess the site dur­ing this time. We re­gret the need to en­ter into con­sul­ta­tion and will sup­port those em­ploy­ees po­ten­tially af­fected as best we can.”

Po­lice have con­firmed that the ex­plo­sion is a po­ten­tial homi­cide in­ves­ti­ga­tion and that they are work­ing with the HSE on the in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

●● Faye and Ric Martin with daugh­ters HarperMae, two, and Pippa, one

●● The re­mains of the dev­as­tated Wood Flour Mill

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