Friday, October 16, 2009

More redundancies at Portakabin

Portakabin is making another round of redundancies with up to 75 jobs set to go at the modular building specialist.

Bosses at Huntington-based Portakabin have confirmed to The Press in York they are set to make their second wave of redundancies this year.

The plant’s 600-plus staff discovered this week their positions are under threat and a 30-day consultation process is now under way.

The news comes after Portakabin announced 80 redundancies earlier this year, shortly after part of its workforce downed tools for an early and enforced Christmas holiday as the firm drew up a plan of action to combat its problems.

One worker told The Press: "We had a feeling something was wrong and the company was struggling for orders, but now everybody is going to be completely on edge towards Christmas because nobody knows yet where these jobs are going to go.


More redundancies at Portakabin


"People have got young families and now they’ll be left wondering whether their jobs will survive.

"Managers have told us the economic climate is still bad and they can’t see it getting better for quite a while – the work hasn’t been coming in at all, so it’s a question of whether this will mostly affect office staff or the workers on the manufacturing side.

"While some of us almost expected another round of cuts, there is a lot of fear around now it’s been announced and the atmosphere is terrible – we’re all on tenterhooks yet again."

Portakabin - which is owned by Shepherd Group - employs around 1,300 people across the UK and Europe, but the hub of the family-owned operation is at Huntington.

A spokesman for the company said: "The recession has caused a significant downturn in most sectors of the UK economy and consequently in modular building opportunities, as well as in the wider traditional construction market. These trading conditions are likely to continue for some time and we have had to take further steps to reduce costs which will potentially lead to a redundancy programme, with up to 75 positions affected.

"The consultation period has commenced with effect from October 14."

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