More than 2,700 workers face the sack tomorrow, New Year’s Eve, after parcel delivery firm City Link went into administration.
Bosses delivered the devastating blow on Christmas day, sparking workers' protests outside a number of depots.
City Link and subcontracted workers arrived at depots for a briefing early on Monday of this week. They were read a statement by administrators Ernst and Young and sent home.
Workers will be paid to the end of December—but not for the overtime they were told to cram in before Christmas.
Members of the RMT union, Portsmouth Trades Council and Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) went to one depot at Fareham, Hampshire, to support the workers.
One worker said, “The bosses are mercenary. Imagine those poor kids on Christmas day finding out their mum or dad has lost their job.
“The company got us all to work those extra hours in the run-up to Christmas knowing they wouldn’t be able to pay us. It’s a disgusting way to treat people.”
Privatisation in the sector has created a race to the bottom. The worker added, “City Link won’t be the last delivery firm to go out of business. They are all trying to undercut each other.”
City Link's owner is private equity group Better Capital. It "loaned" City Link £20 million - and now hopes to get it back to spirit into tax haven Guernsey. Meanwhile the government will pick up the redundancy bill.
Jon Woods, TUSC candidate for Portsmouth North, said, “City Link has behaved appallingly. It deliberately delayed telling the workforce their jobs are going until after the pre-Christmas rush to get the maximum work out of them.
“This is vulture capitalism at its worse. The government should nationalise City Link to save jobs.”
Millions of people were horrified to learn about the sackings. There is the potential for a campaign of support if workers occupy to save the jobs.