Fury as workers told they will not be paid
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