JOBS are set to be axed at a St Helens factory - less than two months after the company secured a lucrative contract from St Helens Council.
Staff at the Viridor glass recycling plant in Sutton have been told the workforce would be nearly halved by plans to axe 15 jobs.
Bosses announced the proposed redundancies at the Lancots Lane site last week despite Viridor securing a two-year council contract to collect and treat commercial waste just seven weeks ago.
One worker, who asked not to be identified, told the Reporter: “We’ve all been put on notice about the redundancies and they’ve started a skills-based selection process to decide who stays and who goes. It’s not necessarily a case of ‘last in, first out’.
“Even those staff who get to keep their jobs are going to have to sign new contracts on May 4 with new terms and conditions.”
The worker added: “The morale has never been so low. It feels like the heart is being taken out of this working community. The vast majority of the workers are from the local area.”
Viridor bosses, who also run an electrical recycling facility locally, said the “restructure” was needed to “secure the future profitability of the business”.
A Viridor spokeswoman confirmed around 15 positions were under threat.
She added: “The restructure will focus the operation on the recycling of a wider range of materials, and on reducing the tonnage of flat glass recycling, which has become increasingly unprofitable over the past two years due to economic conditions.
“As a result, there will be a small number of redundancies at St Helens and in the associated transport operations elsewhere. Consultation and dialogue with employees is continuing, and every effort will be made to assist employees in being redeployed to alternative roles elsewhere within the company.”
It added: “Viridor recently secured the trade waste collections contract in St Helens, and the restructure and focus on mixed material reprocessing will help ensure local businesses continue to be offered high quality commercial recycling services.
“Container glass recycling also remains an important and growing part of Viridor’s business.”
A spokeswoman for St Helens Council said they believed no one working on the council contract has been made redundant.
She added: “This is a private company making a commercial decision and we could not comment further on this.”