Job fears as workers sent home

THERE are fears of further redundancies in Brandon after it emerged that a concrete floor company has suspended operations. About 100 workers at Milbank Floors have been told to stay at home for more than 10 days as a result of a drop in orders and financial troubles at the family firm.

THERE are fears of further redundancies in Brandon after it emerged that a concrete floor company has suspended operations.

About 100 workers at Milbank Floors have been told to stay at home for more than 10 days as a result of a drop in orders and financial troubles at the family firm.

Staff said they were concerned that the concrete flooring business on the Norfolk-Suffolk border was set to permanently close as a result of the downturn in the construction industry.

Milbank Floors, which has been making precast concrete floors for builders and developers in East Anglia and the South-East for more than 60 years, made 99 job cuts at its Suffolk and Essex factories four months ago following a decrease in orders.


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The remaining 200-strong workers at the Brandon depot in Mundford Road and its headquarters at Earls Colne, near Colchester, were sent home on October 22 after management at the company halted production.

Managing director Sean Milbank said the whole workforce had now been put on “standby” after being advised by the company's bank to pause its operation last week.

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“We have been working hard to find a resolution and solution and we will know more in the next 48 hours. There is nothing more I can add,” he said.

One worker, who declined to be named, said there was growing “frustration” and “disgust” at the lack of communication from the firm's management.

He said: “They say they are a family company and will keep us informed, but there has been complete silence since they laid off 99 people in August. We keep phoning up every day to hear that we are not needed. It is appalling the way people are being treated. I do not think they are aware of the suffering they are causing.”

The latest setback comes after more than 100 redundancies at Omar Homes, also in Brandon, over the past few months. The company, which makes holiday homes, is also set to reduce its working week from five days to three in November.

Concrete masonry producer Lignacite has also made about 25 redundancies at its sites in Brandon and Essex.

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