Workers at Dawnfresh Seafoods have spoken of their disgust at being laid off and not even receiving their wages last week.
Employees at the Uddingston plant were made redundant on March 1 when the company announced it was going into administration.
This left 200 workers jobless – and now we can reveal they were left without severance pay from the company.
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One of those workers feeling the impact of the devastating news told Lanarkshire Live ‘an uproar’ on the local site as men and women found they would not receive their weekly wages, due last Friday.
The employee, who wishes to remain anonymous, revealed a letter issued last year, promising thousands of pounds in payments owed to him through redundancy for his 15 years of service, if he were to stay until at the end of June 2022.
But like many others now unemployed, the worker will not receive compensation and may have to wait up to six weeks for any support from the Scottish Government.
The Dawnfresh worker told us: “They promised us we would get our redundancies, they would pay our 12 weeks notice and pay our £2,000 retention fee to stay until June this year.
“Then they came, did what they did and we didn’t even get paid that week. Now we have to claim our dismissal through the government.
“I honestly think they knew what they were doing all along and gave us the letters just to keep us all there for as long as they could.
“I had been there for 15 years. I know they kept 60, and were told they would be paid and given a £1000 bonus to stay.
“I was enraged. You have Scotland’s second richest man (Alastair Salveson) standing there thanking us for letting them get through Christmas, then turns around and says we’re closing and not getting our wages.
“I feel abandoned. I worked there all my years, I gave them all my time and that’s how they thank me.”
The Lanarkshire worker said he continued to bring deliveries to the factory on Tuesday morning before everyone was herded into two groups to be told they were out of work.
He added: “I found myself without a job. I’m now trying to find work elsewhere, but they still haven’t sent all my certificates – like my forklift licenses and things like that.
“When they announced it, they took the first batch that was told it was them being kept and sent them home that day, but they were due back the next day.
“Then they took the next batch and told us we weren’t going to get our salary and we just had to leave.
“There was a commotion, people kicking out of machines and everything, they were raging.
“And that’s understandable because there will probably be people there on the bread line.
“For these people who work from week to week, what are they doing now to feed their child? »
Mark McHugh of the Bakers Food and Allied Workers Union said: “The treatment of workers has been nothing short of disgraceful.
“The consultation process and months of empty promises were built on a foundation of lies and deception.
“It’s absolutely shocking.
“Once the company made the announcement, the union was never told. We’ve had a relationship with the company for about 20 years.”
The union has also taken the position that it hopes the Scottish government can step in to help workers who have lost their jobs by paying them their lost wages and any extra money they are entitled to.
It is understood that many long-serving workers at the Uddingston factory are now having to turn to food banks for help after suddenly losing their income, a Bakers representative told us.
Meanwhile local politicians continued to fight the workers’ corner at the Lanarkshire site, including Monica Lennon MSP who said ‘workers feel betrayed’ when she raised the issue at Holyrood on Friday.
“With a biting cost of living crisis, no one should be harmed right now,” she added.
Prime Minister Nicola Sturgeon said she was “concerned” and called for “the fairest possible treatment” of Dawnfresh employees.
She also stressed that Scottish Enterprise will explore all possibilities to save jobs.
Asked about pay issues related to the closure of Dawnfresh, a spokesperson for joint administrators, Tom MacLennan, Callum Carmichael and Michelle Elliot – partners at FRP Advisory, said: “Any member of staff who feels they are owed salary or other payments through February 28 are actively encouraged to file a claim with the Office of Termination Compensation.
“The joint administrators emphasize that they will provide any affected staff with as much assistance as possible in the process.
“All claims will be dealt with by the Insolvency Service within their mandatory 12-week period.”
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