Uncertain future for glassware workers

HW Woods at Martland Mill, Wigan
HW Woods at Martland Mill, Wigan

SCORES of disgruntled workers gathered outside a Wigan company as their job futures were left in limbo.

Staff at the Martland Park based HW Glass Ltd - who were summoned to attend a meeting - were told to go home and wait while a deal to take over the company is finalised.

The glassware experts, established in 1972, employs more than 50 staff.

One member of staff described how the workforce was addressed in the car park by company bosses and were assured they would know their fate by Monday.

He said: “We were told we would be paid on Friday once the deal for the new company has gone through. We haven’t been paid for the last fortnight.

“We’re stuck in limbo-land. We can’t sign up for the dole and everything is up in the air.

“We all had to drive here for this meeting and pay the petrol. We’ve got shopping to do and we can’t live off fresh air. The owner, David Woods, was there but he wasn’t the one who spoke to us.”

“We are worried that when the new company does start up again there will still be redundancies.”

The news came on the same day that travel giant Thomas Cook and beds retailer Dreams announced they will be closing stores.

The future of Wigan’s Thomas Cook, located on Market Place, plus the stores in Ashton, Atherton, Leigh and Skelmersdale, remains uncertain with the company expected to announce today which 195, out of their 1,069 stores in total, are set to close.

The closures will mean 2,500 job losses in the UK.

Chief executive Peter Fankhauser, said: “It is never easy to make decisions that impact directly on our people.”

Dreams has entered administration but 171 of their stores have been snapped up by US based Sun European Partners.

Wigan’s outlet, located on Caroline Street, is among the 95 that have not been bought.

Administrator, Alan Hudson, said: “The stores that are not included in the sale will remain open for business while administrators seek to find buyers for these stores.”