AN angry Wigan pensioner claims two dozen staff were released from the new town centre B&M Bargains store - just two days before Christmas.
But company bosses insist the workers were only ever employed on temporary contracts to help permanent employees cope with the festive rush.
Mary Furey, 66, says one of her relatives, who she did not want to identify, was stunned when she was told that December 23 would be her last day, claiming the announcement came “totally out of the blue”.
She said: “How can they let all those people go after letting them think they had jobs for life? The announcement was apparently made at the start of the shift on December 23 and some of the staff walked out when they were told.
“Because of this they decided to tell the second set of workers at the end of their shift.”
Mrs Furey, of Winstanley, added: “I think they’ve gone about this in the wrong way. It was done without warning just two days before Christmas. It was totally out of the blue.
“They won’t even get their holiday pay now.”
But B&M owner Simon Arora said: “We took on temporary Christmas staff like all retailers do, mostly part time. Their contracts came to an end.
“The store continues to employ 40 staff.
“I defy anyone to name one retailer that doesn’t cut back staffing levels after the Christmas rush.”
Last month B&M chiefs told how they were creating dozens of jobs after taking over the 15,000 sq ft former BHS and Piers store in Standishgate. Bosses at the budget retail chain also told of their pride at the fact that three quarters of the then 60-strong workforce were recruited from the ranks of the unemployed.